NPR is reporting that there’s finally been a conviction in the Upper Big Branch Mine Disaster:, “May pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and admitted to ordering a company electrician to disable a methane monitor on a mining machine so it could continue to cut coal without automatic shutdowns. The monitor is a safety device that senses explosive amounts of methane gas and automatically shuts down mining machines when dangerous levels of gas are present. The incident was first reported by NPR in July, 2010.
U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin says the sentence sends “a powerful message to this mine manager and other mine managers who would put profits over safety: if you violate mine laws and put miners at risk you will go to jail.”
29 miners died in that explosion, May pleaded guilty to one of the major contributing factors that caused the deaths due to the explosion, and he gets:, “former Upper Big Branch coal mine superintendant Gary May was sentenced to 21 months in prison and ordered to pay a $20,000 fine.”
How much is a life worth? In this case it’s whatever the company and the courts say it is. The Buffalo Creek Disaster was cited as an “Act Of God.” In the course of business, human life wasn’t considered in the equation, and like my dad used to tell me about the company’s moto, “A mule is worth more than a man because the mule will cost the company.”
Also, please go and read about the ACHE ACT. Call your Representatives and ask them to support and sign on to this life saving bill! Together we can make a difference for many generations to come!
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