Months After Mining Disaster, More Deaths
The Washington Post has a great piece today on mining safety. According to the story:
Federal regulators have increased their inspections at 89 coal mines with poor safety records, including Loveridge. They have also upped their use of orders to shut down mines until safety problems are fixed.
But despite their efforts, five men were killed by heavy machinery; four were killed by falling rock. They died in mines where safety citations had increased about 31 percent after the Upper Big Branch blast.
The story sheds light on the flawed mining oversight process. When companies are cited for safety violations, they often appeal them, resulting in a massive backlog. In turn, penalties often aren’t paid for long periods of time.
Here’s an example from the story:
At Consol, for instance, the company has contested 31 percent of the safety citations issued to its mines since January. That’s more than 1,000 citations, with fines totaling $2.6 million, which won’t be paid until the cases are resolved.
Mike Lillis, who has since left The Washington Independent for The Hill, did some great work on mining safety for TWI. You can read his stories here.
Separately, The Huffington Post notes today:
In one of the most bizarre Big Coal public relations ads yet, online readers of the* Washington Post *today were forced to view a fatuous “clean coal” ad prior to viewing an extraordinary photo galley on “Death at American coal mines.”