Miller: GOP Proposal to Stop Black Lung Protections Outrageous
WASHINGTON – Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), the senior Democratic member of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, issued the following statement today after House Appropriations Committee Republicans unveiled a spending bill that includes language to stop a decades-long effort to modernize black lung protections for the nation’s coal miners.
“House Republicans’ proposal to stop modern protections against black lung disease for our nation’s miners is outrageous and should be defeated.
“Republicans are sending a message that profits for their wealthy campaign contributors are more important than the lungs and lives of America’s coal miners. The recent investigative report by several news organizations on the devastating impact of black lung and the lengths that some mine operations go to circumvent their responsibility to protect miners should have been a wakeup call. It’s clear that voices wealthier than coal miner families drowned out that message.
“The facts are indisputable – black lung is on the rise again and some mine operators are exploiting loopholes in obsolete rules to evade compliance. The present system is badly broken and improvements are desperately needed. It’s time to move forward on modern protections based on years of careful scientific study. Blocking efforts by the Mine Safety and Health Administration to modernize miner protections will only cost lives, careers, and family income for those who go underground every day.”