Wednesday, January 16, 2008

On eve of vote, Bush signals veto of mine-safety bill

President Bush yesterday threatened to veto the coal-mine safety bill that the U.S. House is scheduled to vote on today. In a policy statement, the White House said Bush's senior advisers "would recommend he veto" HR 2768 because it would jeopardize "meaningful achievements and efforts" being made as a result of a bill that Congress passed in 2006. "For example, it said, the bill would require new regulations on mine seals, even though the final rules under the 2006 law are about to be put in place," writes James R. Carroll of The Courier-Journal.

Supporters of the bill, sponsored by Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., argue that the administration has taken too long to implement the 2006 law, passed in the wake of the Sago Mine disaster and other fatal accidents. Miller told Carroll that the White House was making "baseless excuses" and Rep. John Yarmuth of Louisville said the Mine Safety and Health Administration "has been disastrously slow to implement the laws that are on the books, and people have died as a result." MSHA took nearly the maximum time available to propose new rescue rules, The Charleston Gazette reported last week.

National Mining Association President and CEO Kraig Naasz told Carroll that the new bill "would interfere with mine safety progress." (Read more)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Considering Virginia is currently in the process of conducting a safety study to determine if it is wise or safe to mine uranium in the state (Pittsylvania County Virginia has the largest deposit of uranium in the U.S. and the second largest deposit in North America); this is a critical if not deadly decision.

Since Virginia hasn't managed to enforce the safety regulations of the coal mining industry - and will need even stricter regulations if they are to even attempt to safely mine uranium - what will this mean to the water in four states near where the uranium will be mined?

While America worries about coal mines, they need to start asking about how uranium mines in the east, only hours from Washington, DC and the beaches will be regulated.