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Posted Mon May 11 2009: from Associated Press:
Former coal lobbyist takes state post
A former coal industry lobbyist has been named to a top post with Indiana's environmental agency, an appointment that environmental activists say raises questions about whether he can be objective in his new job. David Joest, a former registered lobbyist for Peabody Coal Co., became the Indiana Department of Environmental Management's assistant commissioner for the Office of Legal Counsel in April. That post puts him in charge of civil enforcement and criminal investigations of the state's biggest polluters. IDEM spokesman Barry Sneed said the agency "is fortunate to have someone of his caliber and experience." But environmentalists say they're baffled by his appointment, which comes as his former employer, Peabody Energy, seeks to start new mines in Indiana.
[Read more stories about: coal issues, climate impacts, corporate malfeasance, governmental idiocy]
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