Coal Companies – Mine Owners


Even when there are unions representing the “little guy” management can just ignore or co-opt any attempt at enforcement.  At the top right of Memorandum is this Yahoo story about the un-speakable tragedy in Montcoal, West Virginia.

MONTCOAL, W.Va. – Four coal miners were missing after an explosion that killed 25 and poison gases blocked rescuers Tuesday from resuming their search in the worst U.S. mining disaster in more than two decades.

Rescuers began drilling three deep holes to vent methane and carbon monoxide from the mine so that search teams can go back in. But it will take until evening to get the first hole done and see if the mine air will allow re-entry , Gov. Joe Manchin said.

The blast rocked Massey Energy Co.’s sprawling Upper Big Branch mine, about 30 miles south of Charleston, Monday afternoon.

[ snip ]

Though the cause of the blast was not known, the operation run by Massey subsidiary Performance Coal Co. has a history of violations for not properly ventilating highly combustible methane gas, safety officials said.

Full Disclosure:  I lived for 18 years, 1988 – 2006, in coal country.  I know and have known miners.  My youngest daughter was married to one.

In my opinion, the large corporations that own these mining operations willingly cut every safety corner they can, secure in the knowledge that the penalty in lives lost, bad publicity and increased insurance premiums will be more than off-set by increased profits.  Mine owners know two things:  There are no other jobs in the area and miners will not leave.

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One Comment on “Coal Companies – Mine Owners”

  1. rudi666 Says:

    Seems Senator Byrd and Rep Rahall tried to pass tighter mine regulations after Sago. Neither bill left committee for a floor vote.
    From Thomas:
    http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d109:SN02231:@@@X
    http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/D?d109:5:./temp/~bdOx7a:@@@X
    Another reason to be a Democrat. ALL regulation hurt industry, nevermind the body count…


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