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Education & Labor Committee Republicans

Contact: Press Office (202) 226-9440
Kline Statement on Upper Big Branch Report

U.S. House Education and the Workforce Chairman John Kline (R-MN) issued the following statement after the Department of Labor released its final report on the 2010 Upper Big Branch mining disaster:

“Today’s report by the Mine Safety and Health Administration documents the reckless disregard for critical worker safety protections that led to the worst American mining disaster in 40 years.  Massey Energy’s failure to make safety a top priority forced miners to face greater danger in an inherently hazardous profession, and the people of West Virginia paid the price.

“For millions of Americans, this report stirs memories of the shock and sorrow felt on April 5, 2010. Our collective grief as a nation can never compare to the pain experienced daily by the families of the 29 miners who lost their lives. We must honor their loss by ensuring those responsible for safety – mine operators, enforcement officials, and policymakers – remain vigilant in  their efforts to prevent this kind of tragedy from happening again.

“I intend to thoroughly examine the findings of the investigation, and I am hopeful MSHA’s upcoming internal audit report will help shed additional light on this disaster. As part of its continued oversight efforts, the committee will hold a hearing on today’s report at which we expect Assistant Secretary Joe Main to testify.”

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