coal mining

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Coal Exec Sentenced to Prison Over Explosion

Blankenship gets 1 year over blast that killed 29

(Newser) - A former coal CEO must go to prison for one year and pay $250,000 for his role in skirting safety rules prior to a mine explosion that killed 29 of his employees. Don Blankenship, who was running Massey Energy at the time of the 2010 blast in West Virginia,... More »

36 Killed, Including 5 Rescuers, in Russia Mine Blast

Methane gas leak led to explosions

(Newser) - A total of 36 people were killed at a coal mine in Russia's far north where a methane gas leak triggered three explosions that resulted in a raging fire and the collapse of the mine, officials said Sunday. The dead include five rescue workers and a miner who were... More »

Obama Puts New Obstacle in Coal Industry's Way

President to announce stop to new coal-mining leases on federal land

(Newser) - During his SOTU address Tuesday, President Obama forewarned he'd "push to change the way we manage our oil and coal resources." Today, part of that blueprint is set to become more clear, with an expected announcement by the president to stop all new coal-mining leases on public... More »

Coal Baron Convicted in Blast That Killed 29

'Landmark' conviction could send him to jail for one year

(Newser) - Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship was convicted Thursday of a misdemeanor count connected to a deadly coal mine explosion and acquitted of more serious charges. A federal jury in West Virginia convicted Blankenship of conspiring to willfully violate mine safety standards. The misdemeanor charge carries up to one year... More »

Black Lung Rates Rise 900%: Report

Appalachian coal miners contracting disease with prevalence not seen since '70s

(Newser) - Just 15 years ago, scientists were confident that the advanced, incurable version of black lung disease had been all but wiped out. Now, coal miners in Appalachia are contracting the illness—also known as progressive massive fibrosis—at rates not seen since the 1970s, the Courier-Journal reports. A National Institute... More »

Tennessee Declares End to 1892 Coal Creek War

State no longer at war with miners

(Newser) - Some 121 years after the Coal Creek War broke out, Tennessee has officially declared an end to hostilities. A "peace treaty" to end the labor uprising was signed earlier this month at Fort Anderson, where Tennessee National Guardsmen once battled striking coal miners enraged by the use of convict... More »

Bad News for Miners: Black Lung Is Back

Cases have doubled in a decade despite regulations

(Newser) - Black lung was thought to be on its way out following new mining regulations in 1969—but the disease is resurging and has some health experts using the word "epidemic," according to an NPR /Center for Public Integrity investigation. Its occurrence has doubled over the past 10 years,... More »

Mining Company: Those 2-Headed Fish No Big Deal

Images of two-headed trout tucked into appendix of safety study

(Newser) - If you reel in your fishing line in southern Idaho to find a two-headed trout staring back, it's ... no big deal? The New York Times explains: The JR Simplot Company wants the federal government to allow higher levels of the mining byproduct selenium to appear in local waterways. The... More »

China Accidents Trap 40 Miners

Cave-in and flood hit separate mines

(Newser) - A coal mine flood in southwestern China trapped 21 miners underground, while a cave-in at another mine today killed at least three workers and left 19 others sealed off, officials said. Rescuers scrambled to reach the miners at the Niupeng coal mine in the county of Pingtang in Guizhou province... More »

Massey Hid Factors Behind W.Va. Mine Blast

Federal report concludes that Upper Big Branch disaster was preventable

(Newser) - The explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine that killed 29 people was caused by safety concerns that owner Massey Energy was well aware of, but hid from federal regulators, according to a new report from the Mine Safety and Health Administration. “This much we already know. The tragedy... More »

Study Blames W.Va. Mine Owner for Deadly Explosion

It faults Massey Energy as reckless with safety precautions

(Newser) - Massey Energy recklessly ignored safety and allowed dangerous conditions to build inside a West Virginia mine until a blast last year killed 29 men in the deadliest US coal accident since 1970, according to an independent report released today. The report by a former top federal mine regulator said Massey... More »

Epic Floods Close Australia's Coal Mines

Waters causing 'catastrophic damage' to transportation system

(Newser) - The nearly biblical flood that’s washed over Queensland, Australia, is causing massive damage—including the closure of 75% of its coal mines, which supply most of Asia’s steel mills. “That’s a massive impact on the international markets,” observed Premier Anna Bligh in a TV interview.... More »

Coal Industry's 'Dark Lord' Will Retire in Style

Opinion: Notorious CEO profits from suffering of workers

(Newser) - Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship resigned last week without much explanation, soon after a damning profile by Rolling Stone headlined "The Dark Lord of Coal Country," notes Andrew Leonard in Salon . Who knows, maybe that article, looming lawsuits, investigations over tragedies like this fatal mine explosion , and pressure... More »

Here Comes Reality Show on—Yes—Coal Mining

Spike TV program will focus on mine in West Virginia

(Newser) - Got your fill of mining coverage? If not, then Spike TV has some extremely good news: It will launch a reality show on coal miners in April, says the Hollywood Reporter . Coal is from the makers of the Deadliest Catch and will focus on a mine in West Virginia. “... More »

Coal Miners Mock Topless Ashley Judd

Self-described 'hillbilly' actress angers her home state

(Newser) - Kentucky native Ashley Judd irked miners when she spoke out against mountaintop coal mining last month, and now they’re using a topless photo taken for a magazine against her. “Ashley Judd makes a living removing her top, why can’t coal miners?” says the poster, displayed at a... More »

Mine Regulators Under FBI Investigation

Mine Safety and Health officials may have been bribed

(Newser) - The FBI has launched a criminal investigation of the Mine Safety and Health Administration in connection with the Upper Big Branch mine disaster, and the agency is looking into allegations regulators took bribes from Massey Energy, sources tell NPR . Massey, which owned the mine, is also under investigation for criminal... More »

2 Miners Dead in Kentucky

Roof collapses at mine with history of violations

(Newser) - A rescue team found a second Kentucky miner dead today after a roof collapse at coal mine with a long history of safety problems. The two miners, ages 27 and 28, were killed in an accident at the Dotiki Mine near Providence in western Kentucky. They were operating what's known... More »

20 Jobs That Could Kill You

Fishing, mining not for the faint of heart

(Newser) - Tunneling deep into the earth is dangerous business, as West Virginian miners were reminded this week. With that in mind, the Daily Beast takes a look at the most dangerous professions, broken down by deaths per 100,000, injuries per 100,000, and average annual salary:
  1. Fisherman: 129 deaths, 61
... More »

Last 4 Miners Found Dead

Death toll makes explosion worst coal-mining disaster in 40 years

(Newser) - Dashing hopes that they had survived the massive explosion that killed 25 of their colleagues, four coal miners were found dead early this morning in a mine in Montcoal, W. Va., making Monday's incident the worst coal-mining disaster in over a generation. The head of the Mine Safety and Health... More »

Coal Mines Blow Off Safety Fines

US operations have almost $90m in unpaid

(Newser) - US coal mining operations have racked up plenty of safety regulations in recent years, but they simply haven’t bothered to pay thee resulting fines. Of the $113 million in major penalties the federal government has dished out over the past 3 years, coal companies have paid just $8 million,... More »

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