Black lung disease in coal miners has spiked in recent years, and we know that silica dust is to blame. Thanks to the leadership of people like Sen. Bob Casey and President Joe Biden, disabled miners with black lung will continue to receive their health benefits and current miners will soon be protected by an updated standard to limit their exposure to silica dust.
In a heartless move, U.S. Rep. Scott Perry put forward an amendment to a bill funding the U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Agency that would prohibit it from finalizing, implementing, or enforcing the standard.
This standard will save lives and help ensure miners aren’t stricken by this terrible and deadly disease. Every day, companies’ negligence is putting lives in danger. Instead of standing with coal miners, Perry is standing with the companies—just like his colleagues who passed the amendment by a voice vote.
We’ll never know exactly who voted for this terrible amendment, but we do know who authored it. And we know that if it becomes law, Scott Perry’s latest attack on workers could prove deadly to coal miners in our country.
Jason Walsh is the Executive Director of the BlueGreen Alliance, in Washington, D.C.