The new proposed mining law came about after the disastrous explosion at a West Virginia mine operated by Massey Energy Co. on April 5, 2010 and the explosion on April 22, 2010 at Deepwater Horizon oil rig.
The new legislation is to be introduced on Tuesday in the House by Rep. George Miller. It will allow federal mine regulatory authorities more tools to deal with mines with a history of safety problems, including shutting them down.
The penalties for safety violations by mine operators will also be boosted according to the bill that is to be introduced. Whistle blowers who report unsafe working conditions in mines will also be given greater protection.
The Mine Safety and Health Administration is coming under fire from Massey Energy for not allowing Massey to take photos and dust samples from the Upper Big Branch mine to determine the cause of the accident that took 29 lives.
Perhaps with the new mining law the procedures will be better laid out and safety first will not be just a motto, but actual practice.