Friday, June 16, 2017

Trump Administration Enters Negotiations to Kill More Coal Miners

Ok Not Their Intent but It Will be the Result

Coal mine safety regulations have been largely gutted by mine operators, and several years ago the result was an accident that killed a whole lot of miners and, get this, actually sent the company President to jail for almost one whole year.  The regulations were strengthened up President Obama, who unlike the current President actually was doing something to help miners.

Among other changes, the MSHA rule approved in 2013 would stop mine operators from using appeals of safety citations to avoid tougher enforcement and do away with MSHA warning letters that gave companies additional time to improve before facing enforcement.” Prior to the April 2010 explosion at Upper Big Branch, mine owner Massey Energy had avoided being classified as a pattern violator by appealing hundreds of violations, clogging up the government’s appeals system, and because of MSHA inaction the agency later blamed on a computer programming error.

So the mine owners sued.    And now the owners and the Trump administration are going to try and settle the lawsuit.

“Rather than concurrently litigating and negotiating a possible settlement of the dispute, the parties are open to negotiating a mutually agreeable resolution that could avoid further litigation,” said the joint motion, filed earlier this month in U.S. District Court in Columbus.
The joint filing indicated that lawyers for the industry and the government had met on May 1 and agreed that settlement negotiations “were sufficiently promising to warrant a stay of this litigation.”
“The parties have since discussed their commitment to a structured series of conferences to consider a negotiated resolution,’ the joint filing said.
Murray Energy, whose CEO, Bob Murray, has been an outspoken supporter of President Donald Trump and the elimination of Obama-era regulations he says are harming the coal industry, is pleased that the litigation has been stayed so that a settlement can be negotiated, a spokesman said."

Anybody want to guess how this is going to turn out?  Anybody?  And it is important because the coal mining states now under Republican control are abdicating their safety regulating job and leaving it up to the Feds.  So as soon as the suit is settled in favor of coal mine owner, the killing of coal miners can continue.

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