W.Va. families head to US Capitol over mine safety

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Relatives of three miners killed in
West Virginia

FILE - In an April 5, 2010 file photo, West Virginia State Police direct traffic at the entrance to Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch Coal Mine in Montcoal, W.Va. An explosion fueled by methane and coal dust ripped through the seven miles of underground corridors at the mine on April 5, 2010 killing 29 men. (AP Photo/Jeff Gentner, File)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Relatives of three miners killed in
West Virginia's Upper Big Branch disaster are in Washington, D.C.,
to press for the passage of long-stalled mine safety legislation by
July 4.

Gary Quarles lost son Gary Wayne in the 2010 explosion that
killed 29 Massey Energy miners. Also making the trip are Betty
Harrah, who lost brother Steve, and Clay Mullins, who lost brother
Rex.

They'll be meeting with House Democrats who back the 2010 Robert
Byrd Mine Safety Protection Act.

The National Mining Association opposes it, and House
Republicans have delayed any action.

Mullins tells West Virginia Public Broadcasting
(http://bit.ly/LbF67i) the trip shouldn't even be necessary. He
says laws imposing tougher penalties on bad operators should have
been passed long ago.

Massey's mines are now owed by Virginia-based Alpha Natural
Resources.
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Information from: WVPN-FM, http://www.wvpubcast.org

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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