Last updated: July 31. 2013 11:15AM - 842 Views

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Sequestration cuts

risk mine safety

Senator Bob Casey should be paying more attention to the “unfortunate reduction” in Mine Safety Health Administration funding he was complicit in before trying to play friend of coal in his home district.

MSHA is consolidating offices in the Northeastern region not because mining is down, but because Casey and his peers in congress could not agree on cuts necessary to avoid the sequestration clause in the Budget Control Act of 2011. When sequestration finally took effect in March, MSHA announced they were losing $30 million and Assistant Secretary Joe Main fearfully lamented the possibly dangerous consequences of a smaller budget.

Most disappointingly, the biggest cuts were made to the 74 person legal team (30 were layed off) assembled to collect the $70 million in overdue safety fines. MSHA knows they are in trouble and should be sending letters to Casey, asking why he didn’t do anything to stop it.

Russell Zerbo


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