April 06, 2015

Five years out

Yesterday, April 5, marked the 5th anniversary of Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch mine disaster which killed 29 miners. On the bright side, it looks like the families of those who lost loved ones might be a little closer to some kind of justice. On the other hand, as mine safety expert Davitt McAteer argues here, congress has yet to act on mine safety and the Republican WV legislature actually rolled back some mine safety regulations in the last session.

West Virginia's late great Senator Robert C. Byrd nailed it:

"First, the disaster. Then the weeping. Then the outrage. And we are all too familiar with what comes next. After a few weeks, when the cameras are gone, when the ink on the editorials has dried, everything returns to business as usual. The health and the safety of America's coal miners, the men and women upon whom the Nation depends so much, is once again forgotten until the next disaster..."

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