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David Melson

Federal regulations sometimes needed

Posted Wednesday, April 7, 2010, at 10:33 AM
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  • When health and safety are at issue, political maneuvering should be pushed aside and what's best for the public should come first.

    Sorry David but the above is the cry of every dictatorial regime since the beginning of time.

    Why does it have to be FEDERAL regulations?

    Why not state? That would avoid the constitutional hurdle altogether, and would probably be a more responsive, effective solution.

    -- Posted by quietmike on Wed, Apr 7, 2010, at 12:08 PM
  • If our government can run the auto industry and the banking industry, why not take over the management of unsafe mines. At least the auto industry and the banking industry are not killing workers.

    -- Posted by chs61 on Wed, Apr 7, 2010, at 5:31 PM
  • At least the government stepped in and tried. When health and safety are at issue, political maneuvering should be pushed aside and what's best for the public should come first.

    These men were not "the public". These were men trained to know the risks, many of them were brought up in the mining business. Yes, this company had a spotty safety record (two violations were found the morning of the accident) but if you check the record most mining companies are cited multiple times. All those citations and fines don't make these men any less dead.

    Mining is dirty, dangerous and for most of them in Appalachia their only way of making a decent living. We depend on them. This is the first major accident in this country since 1984 and if you compare that with the number of man hours spent in the mines the companies and the UMW (the only necessary union in the country in my opinion) have done a good job. If you don't want to die in the mines, though, don't go in there.

    -- Posted by Tim Baker on Wed, Apr 7, 2010, at 8:24 PM
  • quietmike, There is no constitutional hurdle. "Why not state?" - uniformity, corruption, enforcement, interstate commerce...

    Tim Baker, in the same paragraph, you claim most who mine do so because they have no other way to make a decent living, then end with: "If you don't want to die in the mines, though, don't go in there." What exactly are you trying to get at? Half of what you wrote is dead on, but the other half appears to be somewhat disconnected from the realities of most mining communities.

    Yes, many miners were brought up dependant upon the mines, but in many regards, that upbringing also limited their choices. Yes, we do depend on these miners, so why not demand the already mandated protections from those who operate the mines. We may ultimately have to pay a little more, but how many pennies a week are these people's lives worth? How about we ask their families? No, all of those citations do not bring these workers back, but how can we quantify how many have surly been spared because of them? Neither the companies themselves, nor the union, have policed and improved the safety conditions of miners. Sadly, the credit for improvements in safety must primarily go to the regulation and oversight (as weak as it is).

    An accident is an accident. One equally, or even more tragic, could just as easily have happened in an office building, and it does happen from time to time. I am not advocating for 1500 pages of new regulations, just slightly more conscientious enforcement of existent and justifiable regulations.

    -- Posted by memyselfi on Fri, Apr 9, 2010, at 3:11 AM
  • quietmike, There is no constitutional hurdle. "Why not state?" - uniformity, corruption, enforcement, interstate commerce...

    -- Posted by memyselfi

    What about the part where this mine already had several citations from federal regulatory agencies?

    State laws, as opposed to federal, would prevent a lot of appeals in the federal courts.

    The feds might have constitutional jurisdiction in this case under interstate commerce, but every issue shouldn't have a knee jerk reaction for a federal solution.

    -- Posted by quietmike on Fri, Apr 9, 2010, at 3:52 AM
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