January 19, 2006
More Weak Lies
After the recent Sago Mine disaster in which 12 men were killed in a mine with a deep history of recent safety violations, KR reported that the federal mining safety watchdog agency had grossly weakened enforcement under the current administration of George W. Bush (a/k/a, the “Weakener-in-Chief”). The administration said, “No, KR, you unpatriotic bad liberal press organization; look at our figures.” So, KR did look and the administration’s own figures — and found that:
When Knight Ridder conducted a new analysis in the manner suggested by [Mine Safety and Health Administration spokesman Dirk Fillpot] using MSHA’s newest database, it showed the same dramatic drop.
The newest data show a 43 percent reduction in proposed median major fines from the last five years of the Clinton administration when compared with the first five years of the Bush administration. That’s the same percentage reduction found in Knight Ridder’s original analysis, using a smaller, online database of MSHA violations.
Here is the misleading and inaccurate MSHA rebuttal that KR smacked down (but read it fast; the Bush Administration already took it down once, and no doubt will again if criticism continues). And here are 11 KR questions that the Bush Administration refused to answer.
After five years, this usual question — more administration lies, or just more incompetence — is getting pretty darn old. Especially when the measure is in wasted American lives, be they overseas or underground.
Posted by Wayne Uff at January 19, 2006 10:38 PM
And now there's another mine disaster in West Virginia. Asked whether these mining deaths have been going on all along and only now are the media noticing, Clinton's guy in charge of mine safety said in his 7-year tenure no such thing occurred.
They've just found two more coal miners dead.
Ever get really, really fed up? The business article below did it for me.
It says-- even after continuing mining disasters-- that once again, nothing of significance will change.
Why? Apparently because coal is more important than the women and men who dig it.
The miners are safe enough, and we can't have "an undue financial burden on the operators at coal mines."
So i've just created a new email list, Sago Outrage:
If you're concerned that there's no justice for coal miners, please join.
Safety not seen costing coal co.'s after deaths [excerpt]
Fri Jan 20, 2006 5:03 PM ET
By Timothy Gardner
NEW YORK, Jan 20 (Reuters) - Coal companies may not have to pay much for additional safety measures following two accidents this month in West Virginia -- one fatal and the other in which two miners are missing -- according to experts.
Rescue teams searched smoky tunnels on Friday for two miners after a conveyor belt fire broke out a day earlier at a mine owned by Aracoma Coal Co., a subsidiary of Virginia-based Massey Energy Co.
The fire came weeks after a blast killed 12 miners at the Sago mine owned by International Coal Group Inc.
While the two accidents are reminders that mining can be dangerous, U.S. regulators are limited in the safety changes they can require companies to make.
Under the framework set up by Congress, federal regulators [at] the Mine Safety and Health Administration can propose new safety rules, but none that would create an undue financial burden on the operators at coal mines.
"We can't just say willy nilly you have to do this or that," said an MSHA official who did not want to be named.
Here's the first message, an overview of the Sago disaster:
Please join Sago Outrage:
Business article: http://today.reuters.com/investing/financeArticle.aspx?type=governmentFilingsNews&storyID=URI:urn:newsml:reuters.com:20060120:MTFH20334_2006-01-20_22-04-19_N20398:1