Rahall to probe ‘inadequacies’ in law and enforcement after mining tragedy

House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) on Tuesday pledged to “look for inadequacies in the law and enforcement practices” following the West Virginia mining accident that killed 25 workers.

Massey Energy Co.’s Upper Big Branch Mine, site of the explosion Monday, is in Rahall’s district. Rahall, noting West Virginia is in mourning, vowed to review health and safety violations at the mine to see whether laws were “circumvented.”

House Education and Labor Committee Chairman George Miller (D-Calif.) has dispatched two committee investigators to the scene, a spokesman said Tuesday.

Here is Rahall’s entire statement:

West Virginia is in mourning today. Twenty-five of its hard-working, courageous miners have been lost and we are bound together with their families, friends, neighbors, and coworkers in grief, while we continue to hope and pray for survivors. I want to know why this tragedy happened; there will be a thorough investigation. We will seek answers about the cause of this disaster. We will look for inadequacies in the law and enforcement practices, and I will work to fix any we find. We will scrutinize the health and safety violations at this mine to see whether the law was circumvented and miners precious lives were willfully put at risk, and there will be accountability.