MSHA Failed to Watchdog Deviant Mine Company

Today, the Governor’s Independent Investigation Panel submitted to the governor of West Virginia its report on the Upper Big Branch (UBB) mine disaster that killed 29 men in April 2010. Liz Borkowski at The Pump Handle blog has a detailed summary. Be sure to read it, especially if you’re going to bypass the 126-page report.

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House Gets Amnesia, Passes Bill to Rush Oil Drilling

The House of Representatives today passed a bill that sets ridiculous and dangerous deadlines for the approval of oil drilling permits. According to Earthjustice, “Sponsored by Doc Hastings (R-WA), H.R. 1229 requires the Department of Interior to decide whether to approve a drilling permit within 30 days after receiving an application and allows only two 15-day extensions of this deadline.”

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Workers Memorial Day and New Report Highlight Risk to U.S. Workers

April 28 marked Workers Memorial Day and the 40th anniversary of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). On the same day, the AFL-CIO released its annual report on the state of the health and safety of American workers, Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect.

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Issa Feigns Sympathy for Oil Spill’s Victims

Rep. Darrell Issa, chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, is using the one-year anniversary of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster as an opportunity to criticize the Obama administration for exercising more caution when issuing offshore drilling permits. After the spill, “the Administration’s subsequent assault on off-shore drilling has [damaged] economically vulnerable communities,” Issa says.

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Regulations Do Not Hinder U.S. Job Market, Paper Finds

Regulations designed to protect consumers, workers, and the environment do not have a negative impact on the job market and, in some cases, actually spur job creation, according to new research from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI). The EPI paper, Regulation, Employment, and the Economy: Fears of job loss are overblown, shows that recent criticism surrounding regulations' impact on jobs is misguided and not reflective of economic data.

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MSHA Finally Bringing Out the Big Guns

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has added two mines to its Pattern of Violations (POV) list, which triggers closer MSHA scrutiny for mines with historically poor safety records. It is the first time MSHA has listed a mine in the POV program’s 33-year history.

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One Year Later, Massey Still Puts Miners at Risk

One year after an explosion killed 29 miners at the Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) continues to cite the mine's owner, Massey Energy, for significant safety and health hazards at the company's other mines.

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Labor Department Takes Comments on Regulatory Review

The Department of Labor announced March 16 that it will accept public comments on its plan to review existing regulations and their impact. Labor, like all agencies, is conducting the review in accordance with an executive order President Obama signed Jan. 18.

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Regulation a Boon for the Economy, Reports Show

Amid a tide of Republican complaints over regulations’ impact on economic growth, two new government reports show that the economic benefits of rules outstrip compliance costs by billions of dollars every year.

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Scores of Public Interest Organizations Oppose Congressional Effort to Halt Crucial Safeguards

WASHINGTON, Feb. 14, 2011—Seventy-two labor, environmental, consumer advocacy, health care, and other public interest organizations have called on lawmakers to oppose a fast-moving bill designed to halt the most important new public protections that agencies are developing to safeguard the American people.

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