FROM Hoppy Kercheval
Coal: A Necessary Evil? Twenty-five miners are known to have died in this week's massive explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia. The effort to rescue four men still unaccounted for may be a lost cause. Even before this week's tragedy, the Obama Administration took aim at surface coal mining with a new set of environmental regulations. The loss of human life in the Upper Big Branch mine will likely produce new safety measures for methane gas deep underground. The coal industry and miners themselves claim new rules threaten their economic survival. Can coal mining be made safer and cleaner, or does America's appetite for energy mean putting up with so-called "hidden costs?"
The Upper Big Branch Mine Disaster Twenty-five people are dead and four others are missing in America's worst coal mining disaster in 25 years. As miners' families struggle with their tragedies, state and federal officials promise investigations. Kevin Stricklin, who runs the US Mine Safety and Health Administration says, “We know the mine wasn't operating safely or we wouldn't have had an explosion.” Hoppy Kercheval, host West Virginia MetroNews ' Talkline, has more on local attitudes toward the Upper Big Branch Mine and the Massey Energy Company .
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