Rand Paul seeks to roll back black-lung protections for miners

black_lung-thumb-270x229He may be OK with black people not being served at lunch counters, but Kentucky Senator Rand Paul wants it known that he’s got no problem as far as black lungs are concerned. The following clip comes from the Louisville Courier-Journal.

Sen. Rand Paul questioned the need Thursday for new federal new coal-mining rules to reduce black-lung disease, despite federal figures showing the illness has been on the rise in recent years, killing about 1,500 miners annually.

The Kentucky Republican, a frequent critic of government regulations, said during a Senate hearing that black-lung rates had dropped dramatically since 1969, when a law to combat the illness took effect.

“Every regulation doesn’t save lives,” Paul said at a hearing of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. “There is a point or a balancing act between when a regulation becomes burdensome and our energy production is stifled. We have to assess the cost”…

And we wouldn’t want to burden our coal mining corporations, would we?

Welcome to the libertarian paradise that is Tea Party America.

Oh, speaking of coal mining, Tuesday marks the anniversary of the

Tuesday, by the way, is the first anniversary of the tragic West Virginia mine collapse that cost 29 miners their lives. As you might recall, Massey Energy, the company that operates that mine, has been cited for over 3,000 safety violations. It’s also worth noting that Don Blankenship, the CEO of the company, has stated publicly that safety regulations are, “as silly as global warming.” Blankenship, I’m sure it won’t surprise anyone, is a major supporter of the Tea Party movement that got Rand Paul elected.

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  1. Knox
    Posted April 4, 2011 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    This is one of the big reasons that kids should be doing this kind of work. Not only are they more resilient, but their lungs are still growing, constantly making new pink bits.

  2. Posted April 4, 2011 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    I can’t wait for the complete dismantling of the federal government.

    Really, the free market can take care of this. Workers will sense the imminent threats to their health and simply work elsewhere, perhaps at the local flea market, or maybe a meth lab. Similarly, consumers who are concerned about black lung and occupational safety will simply stop using electricity until a safe environment for coal workers becomes a reality.

    The trouble is, people who live in this bizarro neo-classical world truly believe this bullshit.

  3. TeacherPatti
    Posted April 4, 2011 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    I just wish people would THINK when they start calling for its abolishment. THINK about what it really means.
    My friend who is a “libertarian” (I think a commenter best described this as white men who haven’t accomplished much but think that but for affirmative action/women/gays/blacks, they would be in the top 1%…I’m paraphrasing..exact quote is on my FB page) said in his FB status that he hopes it shuts down and never reopens. He’s got a teenager and I’m like, “Really? You want your kid to work in some slaughterhouse and get his balls chopped off?” I didn’t say that–didn’t say anything–but that’s what I was thinking. It sometimes helps these folks when you put it in terms of their own kids but not always b/c the comeback is usually “Well my kid won’t be in that situation/is too smart for that”.

  4. Eel
    Posted April 4, 2011 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    Sounds to me like someone needs an envelope of coal dust sent to his office.

  5. Stephen
    Posted April 4, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    I say we remove the nukes from Alaska and hand it over to the likes of Palin and Paul.

  6. K2
    Posted April 4, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    One wonders if black-heart can be treated.

    If western medicine fails, maybe we could try praying to Aqua Buddha.

  7. Gene
    Posted April 4, 2011 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    as much as Rand is a gay-hater, i saw him on Comedy and didn’t disagree with anything he said. I could endure him more than Bush, jr. He actually speaks his mind, and whether i agree or not, i can respect that. Pleasers and centrists are BORING. And since the Dems are so timid on gay stuff, they’re all haters, so it’s just a choice of lesser evils for me. Surving 8 yrs of Bush, jr., we could survive Rand – the world wouldn’t end. Disclosure: I can’t really relate to coal mining…

    Peter: I’m all for dismantling of the Feds – but skeptical that even the bleedingest of hearts would give up electricity. I’d love to go off the grid, but too lazy…

  8. EOS
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    Don’t be misled by the headline of this topic.

    “Sen. Rand Paul questioned the need Thursday for new federal coal-mining rules..” Questioning the need for new laws is not equivalent to the rollback of existing laws.

    Massey Energy had been cited for over 3,000 safety violations, yet the mine disaster was not prevented. Laws are effective only for a moral people except in a police state or totalitarian regime.

  9. Knox
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    It would be good if you verified shit before posting here, EOS.

    Rand Paul: Mine safety regulations aren’t needed since “no one will apply” for jobs at dangerous mines

    “The bottom line is: I’m not an expert, so don’t give me the power in Washington to be making rules,” Paul said at a recent campaign stop in response to questions about April’s deadly mining explosion in West Virginia…“You live here, and you have to work in the mines. You’d try to make good rules to protect your people here. If you don’t, I’m thinking that no one will apply for those jobs.”


  10. Posted April 5, 2011 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    “Laws are effective only for a moral people except in a police state or totalitarian regime.”

    Again, you are so full of shit.

    Weren’t you the one that was advocating for enforced curfews of adults in Ypsilanti Township?

  11. EOS
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 11:18 am | Permalink


    It was a rhetorical question about curfews, not an endorsement. I didn’t think anyone would consider it feasible to have a curfew for a select group of adults, but you consistently surprise me.

  12. Posted April 5, 2011 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    I wouldn’t think that anyone would even suggest it.

  13. T Timmons
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    EOS, I was kind of hoping that you’d respond to Knox, who pretty much presented evidence proving you to be full of shit. How about it, cowboy?

  14. Posted April 5, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    EOS has no problems applying laws to keep black people in their homes in Ypsilanti Township, but why would white coal miners in Kentucky need laws? Just an inconvenience.

    The free market and Jesus will solve everything.

  15. T Timmons
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    But their lungs are black, Pete.

    Maybe they should leave them home at night.

  16. Posted April 5, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    Yes, you are right.

    The current laws aren’t on the workers themselves, but on their wealthy corporate leaders, whose lung are lily white.

  17. EOS
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    Knox’ reference is another time when Rand suggested that it wasn’t appropriate that the Federal Government, or more specifically, the House of Representatives should not be dictating mine safety. Rand Paul did not say “Mine safety regulations are not needed”. Once again, the headline does not correlate with the rest of the story. If you read the article, you would have gotten a different perspective than what the bold headline misleads you to believe. “Paul’s campaign responded that he doesn’t want to exclude the federal government but wants more state and local control over mine safety.” Rand supports State’s rights as opposed to Federal. He doesn’t want to “rollback” any existing laws nor does he think mine regulations are not needed.

    I don’t respond to every false claim and I’m not going to respond every time Peter makes up shit. But you would be wrong in thinking that my lack of response proves I am full of shit. That’s not to say I’m not full of shit, just that you haven’t proven it.

  18. John Galt
    Posted April 6, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    Lung Racist!

    You just can’t accept that Paul is colorblind when it comes to the color of a man’s lungs.

  19. robot from the future
    Posted April 10, 2011 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

    You humans are weak and pathetic things, with your lungs, and your brittle bones.

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  1. […] every day, especially at a time when Republicans are attempting to roll back mining regulations and end black lung protections, probably isn’t the answer. Or at least it shouldn’t be. We should set our sights […]

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