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GOP Rep. Vows Fight for ‘Proper Measures’ After Dotiki Tragedy

Rep. Ed Whitfield (R), who represents Webster County, Ky., where two miners were killed in a roof collapse Wednesday, has posted a statement reacting to the tragedy. Like a number of other coal-country lawmakers, the response is heavy on condolences and absent any indication that the industry isn’t doing enough to protect its workers.

As new details continue to emerge surrounding the tragedy at Dotiki Mine, I join my fellow Kentuckians in offering my most heartfelt condolences to the family members and friends of those lost. Right now, Kentuckians and Americans across the country are grieving this tragic loss. However, the western Kentucky community is a strong one and while this tragedy tests even the strongest of faiths, I pray that the community will be able to band together and, in time, heal from this tragedy.

In a break from some of his colleagues, however, Whitfield is vowing to “do all that I can” to prevent the next accident.

Mining is a critical part of the western Kentucky economy and way of life, and it is essential we ensure the safety of our miners above all else. I will do all that I can to make certain that proper measures are in place to protect our miners.

No word yet on what he means by that. Meantime, it’s worth noting that the Kentucky Republican has accepted more than $100,000 from the coal mining industry in his 16 years on Capitol Hill, according to the Center for Responsive Politics — eighth highest among active members of the chamber.

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