Rep. Denny Rehberg says federal officials appear bent on destroying Montana's mining industry with their aggressive enforcement of mine safety violations in recent months.
The Montana Republican said Tuesday that mine inspectors appear driven by environmental extremism rather than safety concerns. He said citations against the Troy silver mine near Libby included one for a ladder with improperly spaced rungs and another for a burned out light bulb.
In a letter Assistant Secretary of Labor Joseph Main, Rehberg requested violation records for Montana mines over the past two years.
Main oversees the Mine Safety and Health Administration, which has stepped up mine inspections nationwide since April's Upper Big Branch Mine disaster killed 29 miners in West Virginia.