Conservative Consequences At Coal Mines

If you’ve been following the news, you’ve no doubt seen recent reports about the frustrating, and so far unsuccessful, search for six trapped miners at the Crandall Canyon Mine in Huntington, Utah. Rescue teams have been drilling where they hope the miners might be, but it’s largely been guesswork.

It’s not a political issue, per se, but the NYT ran an editorial today about Republican policies failed to take important steps on mine safety.

For too long, the Bush administration and the Republican-controlled Congress allowed mine operators to put off making needed investments to ensure their workers’ safety. And last year when a string of coal-mining disasters — that killed 48 miners — forced Congress to enact new safety legislation, it still gave companies far too much time to install communications systems that might have helped find the Utah miners.

Dems have proposed forcing mine operators to adopt, quickly, emergency communications systems that could track and communicate with workers in the event of an accident. Congressional Republicans and the Bush administration have opposed the Democrats’ efforts. It’s another example of what Rick Perlstein has labeled “E. coli conservatism.”


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