President Obama on Saturday urged a thorough investigation into a deadly explosion at a West Virginia coal mine that killed 29 people, hours
after rescue efforts at the mine gave way to an operation to recover the dead.
"This has been America's worst mining disaster in forty years, and the toll on all West Virginians has been immeasurable, " Obama said of Monday's
blast at the Upper Big Branch mine. "We cannot bring back the men we lost. What we can do, in their memory, is thoroughly investigate this tragedy
and demand accountability."
Obama's statement came just hours after rescue efforts came to a grim end after crews found the bodies of the last four miners unaccounted for in the
explosion. Twenty-five people were previously announced dead.
"My thoughts and prayers are with the families of all those who were lost in this tragic accident, and my gratitude goes out to the rescue teams who
worked so tirelessly and heroically to search for the missing," Obama said in his statement. Please visit the link provided for the complete story.
Probably anyone who was president, Bush or McCain included, would have expressed their grief and condolences for the deaths in the West Virginia coal
mine explosion. But maybe only Obama would talk about "accountability."
He's right. At least from the evidence gathered at this time, Massey Energy should be held criminally accountable for the deaths of those miners.
Though Massey is probably no worse than many other energy companies in failing to keep their operations safe, and though methane explosions are always
a danger in coal mines, the fact is they were warned repeatedly and did not respond appropriately.
West Virginia has one of the worst records in the country for mine safety. The state is hand-in-glove with the coal companies. I think the state
should also be held accountable for the laxness of its regulations and failure to adequately enforce the laws that they do have.
As long as the coal companies can make a few extra dollars by doing so, they will continue to put profits above the lives of their workers.
[edit on 10-4-2010 by Sestias]