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A Coal Miner Speaks Out/The Fall of Al Franken

Ralph talks to activist coal miner, Stanley Sturgill, who advocates for the strengthening of EPA regulations on the coal industry and mountaintop removal.  Also, Mark Green gives us his take on the sudden, steep fall of Senator Al Franken.

“Just how many people must pay the supreme price of death for a few rich, greedy people to bank a few dollars?” Those are the words of Stanley Sturgill testifying at the one and only public hearing concerning the Trump Administration’s effort to repeal The Clean Power Plan, a set of regulations meant to reduce carbon emissions from coal fired power plants.  Mr. Sturgill, from Lynch, Kentucky, was a coal miner for over forty years and suffers from black lung disease.  He advocates not for the repeal but for the strengthening of EPA regulations on the coal industry and mountaintop removal.

“They poison these streams… They covered up miles of fresh water streams that people have to drink out of.  And that’s one reason we have such a high rate of cancer, especially in our area.”  Coal Miner Stanley Sturgill on mountaintop removal

Mark Green is a former Nader’s Raider, who ran Public Citizen’s Congress Watch program for ten years.  After that, he went on to found his own public interest organization, The New Democracy Project.  In addition, he was elected New York City’s first Public Advocate.  An author and a radio and TV commentator, Mark’s latest book, – which we have talked about previously on this show – is entitled “Bright Infinite Future: A Generational Memoir on the Progressive Rise.” 

“How about a (Senate) subcommittee dedicated to this issue (sexual harassment)…  where within ninety days they have to investigate, put people under oath, and rule?  And if it’s one stupid thing a decade ago, you reprimand.  If it’s a minor pattern, you censure.  And if it’s Packwood… you expel.  I think that’s fair, but that system does not now exist.”  Public Interest Attorney, Mark Green


  1. Tara Carreon says:

    I am outraged again at David Feldman’s interruption of the program with his hysterical point of view. I really wish he would shut up forever, and let Ralph have his own program without tilting it towards his ordinary, non-progressive, democratic viewpoint, which is nothing but the problem.

  2. kendra says:

    There is no place for sexist pig louts like Mark Green on Ralph’s show.

    Who spend their entire time questioning the motives of Congressional staff women who put their jobs on the line to speak up against workplace harassment – and have zero to gain.

    His good-old-boy attitude and apology-is-enough -which is what a censure is – speaks volumes about his clueless, sexist character.

  3. Donald Klepack says:

    As a Ralph Nader voter for President, I believe the Democratic Party forced Al Franken out. They did this for political reasons so that they can be party for Women. Senator Franken should not resign.

  4. As a result of today’s program I plan to email Stanley Sturgill. All of you should know of our No Coal in Oakland (NCiO) effort, which in now in federal court with a hearing next month. The web site has a great deal of info & so I stop here.

  5. keil jones says:

    The big problem with Mark Green’s comments is he kept repeating over and over the point about 5% of women lying about abuse. By repeating that, it does a tremendous injustice to the vast majority of victims who tell the truth, and the other large majority who never come forward at all.

    • RL says:

      Every company that can afford to retain many lawyers will claim that women “lie” when they report sexual harassment. As a 51 year old woman who has worked her entire life in male dominated fields – I have witnessed far too much sexual harassment to even address. Women do not lie about sexual harassment. Women do not want to go through the stress and hassle to “lie” about sex harassment – because no matter what people think, there is extreme retaliation against you quite often, Often colleagues and bosses will not threaten your job. They will just make your life into hell while you continue to work. They will look for everything wrong with everything you do, have low level employees follow you around, and make false accusations that you do poor work or other attacks. They try hard to discredit you as a person. Reporting sexual harassment could follow a woman in her city and threaten a woman’s career. Mark Green is off base repeating this potentially spurious statistic. I have good male friend who, when I try to bring up sexual harassment, immediately bring up the concept that women are “lying.” This is damaging to working women all over the country.

  6. Holly Masclans says:

    Russell Mokhiber
    Thank you for reporting on the fast-tracked Sanofi Dengue vaccine which has harmed hundreds of thousands of Pilipino children. This is the tip of the unsafe vaccine iceberg. I have been writing Ralph Nader for years to bring attention to the numerous vaccines mandated by our CDC. Did you know that the scheduled contains 79 doses of vaccine by age 18? Did you know that 50 doses are mandated by age 6?
    Since the 1986 National Vaccine Injury Act where drug companies were granted total impunity, drug companies like Sanofi and Merck have been adding more and more vaccines to the schedule guaranteeing profits at no risk. Prior to the Act, 23 doses of vaccine were on the schedule.
    The vaccine schedule has never been tested for safety. Please have Ralph interview Barbara Loe Fisher from the National Vaccine Information Center.
    Louise Kuo Habakus or Mary Holland authors of “Vaccine Epidemic”

  7. David Faubion says:

    Australia treats its coal miners to a safe, secure and upwadly mobile middle-class life.

    Still, miming and burning coal for energy hearkens back to the previous inhumane, barbaric epochs.

  8. David Faubion says:

    Re the Mark Green interview about male predatory behavior
    Thank you all for your sensitive, thorough and articulate treatment of the issue of the year.
    The phrase zero tolerance immediately flowed off my fingers and onto the blogs right after the Conyers and Franken reports surfaced. I reacted so swiftly and decisively because I have been harassed a few times by men. Undoubtedly, Kristen Gilbrand and Nancy Pelosi know the cronic abuse of men and the debilitating plague it imposed upon our civil society.

  9. RL says:

    Mountaintop removal mining is a national outrage. Thanks for covering the issue. Please support Coal River Mountain Watch and other organizations fighting this!