Timing bad for coal kickback indictments

BECKLEY, W.Va. — The federal indictments of former workers at Arch Coal over an alleged kickback scheme involving nearly $2 million from vendors could not have come at a worse time.

On Monday, The Environmental Protection Agency is expected to release new emissions regulations that will no doubt continue to hammer the coal industry.

Friends and allies of coal don’t need to give industry critics any more ammunition to use against coal.

Four workers at Arch Coal’s Mountain Laurel complex in Logan County are accused of taking kickbacks from vendors to assure they got contracts with the company. Prosecutors say the mining complex’s former general manager was at the heart of the operation.

Some of those vendors paid more than $400,000 to get and keep those lucrative contracts.

“This kind of pay-to-play scheme hurts honest coal industry vendors who refuse to pay bribes as a way to get customers,” said U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin.

Indeed it does…

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