Murray Energy is a coal mining giant that specializes in high-sulphur (meaning more-polluting) coal and is lead by a CEO, Robert Murray, who is an avowed (and very rich) opponent of doing anything to slow down the world's CO2 emissions. Murray denies the solid science behind anthropogenic climate change and lobbies against any proposed law that strengthens mine safety. In 2007, six miners and three rescue workers were killed in the Crandall Canyon mine, a violation-plagued mine operated by Murray Energy.


Murray and his company seem like a perfect place for Larry Craig, the former Republican senator from Idaho best remembered for being arrested for lewd conduct in the men's bathroom at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Craig was accused of trying to solicit sex from a toilet stall with an off-duty cop in the next stall by tapping his foot and sliding it under the partition between the two, touching the off-duty officer's foot. Craig denied the charge by claiming that he simply had a "wide stance" and talked about offering his resignation once news of the arrest became public. (Craig plead guilty to disorderly conduct but served the rest of his term in office.) More allegations of gay sex followed and Craig spent the next year tamping down the flames of a political spectacle. Craig, who is married and has a history of supporting conservative social positions, said he was not gay and had entered a guilty plea in haste, according to the New York Times.


Now the two are working together. Craig and his former chief of staff, Michael Ware, are lobbying for Murray at Murray Energy and are fighting against proposed rules that would keep miners safer but would cost mining companies more money. 


I can't imagine a more perfect pairing: the greedy coal baron who is willing to risk the health of the entire planet in a driven and blind pursuit of a bigger bank account and a disgraced and hypocritical ex-politician willing to lie about something as fundamental as his sexuality for whoever is willing to fund his paycheck.


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Shea Gunther is a podcaster, writer, and entrepreneur living in Portland, Maine. He hosts the popular podcast "Marijuana Today Daily" and was a founder of Renewable Choice Energy, the country's leading provider of wind credits and Green Options. He plays a lot of ultimate frisbee and loves bad jokes.

Disgraced former Republican Sen. Larry Craig takes new job lobbying against mine safety
You might remember the former U.S. senator from Idaho as the anti-gay politician who was arrested for lewd conduct in an airport bathroom. He's back in Washingt