Sunday, January 22, 2006

Missing miners found, didn't survive the fire

Rescuers Find Bodies of Two W.Va. Miners:
Rescuers on Saturday found the bodies of two coal miners who disappeared after a conveyor belt caught fire deep inside a coal mine.

The bodies were found in an area of the mine where rescue teams had been battling the fire for more than 40 hours.
After Sago, people noted that the MSHA was overworked and underfunded, and that the fines they could levy were so low that it was cheaper to pay the fine than to make lifesaving repairs. And it came out that a number of safety regulations were eliminated or weakened by mining lobbyists who had been elevated to regulatory positions.

Fourteen deaths later:

The Bush administration is reviewing safety equipment used in the nation’s mines after previously scrapping similar initiatives started by the Clinton administration.

The agency that oversees coal mine safety is seeking public input on how to better supply miners and rescuers with equipment such as breathing apparatus and communications devices, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.

In recent years, the Mine Safety and Health Administration pulled Clinton-era initiatives examining safety equipment and mine rescue operations off its regulatory agenda, a semiannual document that outlines what agencies are working on.
Good government is seizing an opportunity to make life better, bad government is passing those opportunities up, and rolling things back in a way that hurts people. This administration and this Republican congress aren't about making things better. They aren't against big government. They just don't care for good government.