Bush Administration Weakened Mine Safety Rules, Some Tied to Disasters:


Six years ago when the Bush Administration took office they “abandoned or delayed” 18 mine safety rules and implemented a self-regulatory approach for the mining industry.  According to the Washington Post, two of those safety rules scuttled by the Administration may have been able to prevent the death of twelve miners in the Sago mine.  These rules were to include “mandatory caches of oxygen tanks and breathing masks inside every mine” and to expand the number of rescue teams.  Mine-safety experts claim that a lack of oxygen reserves and a slow response led to the deaths at Sago in West Virginia.  After the Sago disaster two more miners were killed at the Alma mine in West Virginia when their conveyor belt caught fire.  In 2002, the Administration abandoned a proposal to find ways to make the conveyor belts fire-proof.