American Coal Mines Stay Open Despite Millions In Safety Fines

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[Note: This show is from a previous interview that aired on November 13, 2014.]

There are federal regulations designed to keep American mineworkers safe, but this year, an NPR investigation found that there's a loophole in the regulation, allowing mine owners to operate unsafe mines across the country.

For years, the mine owners have failed to pay penalties even as workers continue to be injured.

In this encore presentation of a report filed by NPR investigations correspondent Howard Berkes, we meet Jack Blankenship, a mineworker pinned a mile underground under a 300 pound rock while records shows that at the time the mine was overdue in more than $200,000 in safety fines.


This segment aired on December 26, 2014.


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