Thursday, May 15, 2014

Two Miners Dead Because We Won't Bury Coal's Rotting But Still Murderous Corpse

Patriot Coal's executives should be imprisoned for premeditated murder.

Rude Pundit:

Eric Legg and Gary Hensley died in what is called a "coal outburst." What that means is that the walls of the mine burst, ejecting coal and gas into the area where the men worked. It's a nasty way to die, hot and violent. It means that the gas wasn't drained out of the area to relieve pressure, which is a significant safety violation, which is what Brody No. 1 was already cited for: "MSHA said that its inspectors had cited more than 250 'significant and substantial' violations during the 12-month period that ended Aug. 31. An MSHA audit of the mine’s records found that injuries resulted in nearly 1,800 lost-work days at the mine, 367 of which were from eight injuries that the company did not report to MSHA. A separate audit in 2012 found 29 injuries that were not reported." To do the math, Patriot owned the mine for 8 of those 12 months.

As always with mining companies, Patriot has been on the forefront of doing vile shit to workers. The United Mine Workers of America was already pissed off at Patriot for using bankruptcy to dick over miners and retirees. Yeah, when it sought bankruptcy protection last year, a judge approved allowing the company to cut health benefits and pensions to union workers and retirees. It shitcanned a contract it had with the union and renegotiated one that cost the company far less. The workers got dicked, but it was with a smaller dildo. The deal allowed Patriot to emerge from bankruptcy in December 2013.

To celebrate, in February, Patriot spilled 108,000 gallons of slurry waste into a creek feeding the Kanawha River, the same river that was polluted by Freedom Industries. Don't worry, though. It wasn't supposed to significantly impact the drinking water, which could be another way of saying that things couldn't get worse. (You can make your own joke about how Patriot and Liberty have fucked the people of West Virginia.)
Not just West Virginia.

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