June 08, 2012

Upper Big Branch families seek justice

This week, some family members of miners killed in Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch disaster went to Washington to talk with senators and congressional representatives about the need for mine safety legislation. As is often the case, Ken Ward said it best at Coal Tattoo:

You couldn’t follow them on Twitter or watch them live on the Internet. Nobody got arrested or sang protest songs.  It wasn’t part of some national call-in day. None of the big national groups who spend so much time talking about the damage coal inflicts on Appalachia were part of it or said anything about it.
 But earlier this week, the families of three of the miners who died in the Upper Big Branch Mine Disaster were in Washington, D.C., trying their best to push Congress to pass legislation aimed at protecting the health and safety of our nation’s coal miners....

The other side wasn't much help either, as Ward notes:

I was left wondering why political leaders and industry front groups that profess to care so much about coal miners haven’t staged a massive protest outside the Capitol, demanding that Congress act to pass the Robert C. Byrd Mine Safety Protection Act. Why hasn’t the West Virginia Coal Forum used taxpayer money to bus coal miners to Washington to talk about health and safety? Why doesn’t FACES of Coal run constant ads on the radio demanding safety reforms? 
Where were the Friends of Coal when the Upper Big Branch miners needed them?
(I think we might know the answer to that.)

Here's additional coverage from WV Public Radio, the Associated Press, and the Huffington Post.

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