Thursday, January 05, 2006

Condolences To Families of the Sago Miners

Americans should be aware of the daily work of our miners producing the coal to assure that we have the electricity we need. Twelve men working about two miles underground gave their lives this week in an accident at the International Coal Group (ICG) mine in Sago, West Virginia. ICG purchased the mine in November 2005. The wrenching scenes of distraught families broadcast from Sago Baptist Church have touched citizens nationwide. And we can be thankful that one person made it out alive.

There will be Congressional hearings on the accident. The U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) and the West Virginia Office of Miners' Health Safety and Training (OMHST) will review the accident and propose regulatory improvements. The reported 208 mine violations will be revisited. We have also heard from mining officials that 2005 was one its safest years ever. However, for the moment, let us honor the brave men who lost their lives this week. Think about them every time you turn on an electrical appliance in your home. Fifty percent of the nation's electricity comes from coal-fired plants.

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