Last year, deaths of coal miners reached a 10-year high and reversed an 80-year trend of steadily diminishing death tolls in the nation's mines.
Not coincidentally, the Bush administration has steadily cut back on money and personnel to enforce mine-safety laws. In 1997, during the Clinton administration, the Mine Safety and Health Administration had 634 inspectors; in 2005, that number was down to 584. At the same time--due to the push to mine coal as an alternative to oil--the number of mines increased from 2,053 to 2,620. Also, under Republican leadership, mine owners have faced much looser regulation and less severe penalties than previously.
The people who pay for this are the miners and their families.
Just one more reason for outrage.