Miners call riders in Rehberg’s proposal “a death sentence”

Congressman’s irresponsible plan eliminates critical safety protections for miners

BILLINGS,-Mont.—One of the nation’s oldest mining unions calls Congressman Dennis Rehberg’s proposal to eliminate critical safety protections for miners a “death sentence.”

The plan Rehberg recently introduced in his congressional committee prohibits funding for new safety rules to protect coal miners and to help prevent “Black Lung” disease—despite reports that there is a resurgence of the disease among coal miners.

The United Mine Workers of America attacked Rehberg’s spending proposal saying it “amounts to nothing more than a potential death sentence for thousands of American Miners.”

Rehberg’s irresponsible proposal also eliminates funding for the development of technology that measures coal dust levels in mines.  Dust build up causes Black Lung Disease and is highly explosive. According to the United Mine Workers of America, build up was one of the causes of the fatal 2010 explosion of the Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia.

“I cannot fathom the reasoning of those who proposed and supported this language in the House,” said Cecil E. Roberts, President of the United Mine Workers of America International.  “Preventing black lung isn’t a matter of over-regulation. It’s a matter of life and death.”

If members of Congress aren’t standing up and protecting American working people from preventable occupational diseases that will sentence them to a gasping, choking death, then what on earth are they doing in Washington?” Roberts asked.

Click HERE for more information on how Rehberg’s wrong priorities jeopardize miners’ safety in the United Mine Workers of America statement on the Congressman’s proposal.