Coal Tattoo

The big financial reform bill that just passed Congress and is awaiting President Obama’s signature contains some new mine-safety reporting requirements for publicly traded companies.

According to a news release issued yesterday by Sen. Jay Rockefeller’s office:

In one of his final actions as a Senator, the late Senator Byrd (D-W.Va.) teamed up with Senator Rockefeller to secure an amendment to the Wall Street Reform conference report to hold mining companies accountable for their safety records. Specifically, the mine safety amendment requires that publicly-traded mining companies include serious mine safety violations in their public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which are closely tracked by shareholders and industry analysts. Mining companies that fail to properly disclose this information would face SEC penalties.

The language would require companies that mine coal or have subsidiaries that are mine operators to tell the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and their stockholders about the number of violations, enforcement orders and fines issued to their mining operations.

Sen. Rockefeller said:

Senator Byrd and I fought for this measure because safe mines are good for business, and that makes a real difference to families who see their loved ones go to work every day in our nation’s coal mines.