Last week, twenty-nine West Virginia miners tragically perished in the mine explosion at the Upper Big Branch-South Mine in Raleigh County, West Virginia. This was the worst American coal mining disaster in the last 40 years. Today, the House considers H.Res. 1236 authored by Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV), standing with all West Virginians in mourning the miners who lost their lives. The resolution honors the coal miners who perished, extends condolences to their families and all of the coal miners enduring the loss of their coworkers, and recognizes the heroic actions of the rescue teams, as well as the volunteers who provided support. Speaker Pelosi on the resolution:
Education and Labor Chairman George Miller and Rep. Lynn Woolsey, Workforce Protections Subcommittee Chair, have committed to work with the Department of Labor and the Mine Safety and Health Administration and hold hearings on the health and safety violations at the mine to see if the law was circumvented and miners' lives were recklessly put at risk, explaining:
Over the past few years, we have met too many family members who have suffered the tragic loss of loved ones in a mine disaster. On behalf of the committee, we promised them that we would do everything we could to learn the cause of these tragedies and to keep miners safe. Today, we extend this same promise to the families and community dealing with a devastating loss.
More on the Committee’s efforts on mine safety: