In an editorial piece today that should surprise no one, the New York Times chose to play the blame game with the horrible miner tragedy in West Virginia where 12 of 13 miners were killed in a coal mine blast accident. The NYT:
Political figures from both parties have long defended and profited from ties to the coal industry. Whether or not that was a factor in the Sago mine’s history, the Bush administration’s cramming of important posts in the Department of the Interior with biased operatives from the coal, oil and gas industry is not reassuring about general safety in the mines. Steven Griles, a mining lobbyist before being appointed deputy secretary of the interior, devoted four years to rolling back mine regulations and then went back to lobbying for the industry.
But what the NYT does not tell you is that, since 2001, fatalities from mine accidents have dropped almost 50%. BizzyBlog has the lowdown. Make sure to check out the chart he created from the data that he found here on the Labor Dept’s website. Good detective work, Tom. He writes:
Contrary to what The Times would have you believe, the trend has been favorable (“reassuring” if you will) for many years, especially the past four, where there has been a near-50% drop in fatalities. In fact, these results support the contention that staffing Interior with people who actually know their industry has led to greater safety.
Shame shame on the NYT.
More: Varifrank shares more stats on coal miner deaths.
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