Coal Tattoo

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Mine Explosion Congress

We learned yesterday that the Labor Department’s Mine Safety and Health Administration has expanded its investigation of the Upper Big Branch Mine Disaster. The reason?

Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis called for this additional investigation group to provide a safe, confidential venue for the general public, family members of the victims and miners to speak freely to MSHA investigators about the mine explosion without fear of retaliation or the need to reveal their identities.

Fair enough.

But what we still haven’t heard out of the Obama administration, Secretary Solis or MSHA chief Joe Main is what they plan to do to ensure some transparency of this investigation, especially as it proceeds into asking questions of MSHA’s own inspectors at the Upper Big Branch Mine.

MSHA has a meeting scheduled tonight with the families of the Upper Big Branch miners … and I’m told that after that the rest of us might find out more about how this investigation will be conducted … so stay tuned …