Trump May ‘Help’ Coal Miners By Lifting Protections Against Deadly Black Lung Disease

The Trump administration’s Labor Department plans to revisit a 2014 rule that reduces cola miners’ exposure to coal dust, which leads to deadly black lung disease, also known as coal workers’ pneumoconiosis.

The Labor Department’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) said in a regulatory notice that it seek ways that the coal-dust rule “could be improved or made more effective or less burdensome,” notes the Charleston Gazette-Mail.

MSHA also plans to conduct a “retrospective review” of the 2014 rule to decide whether that rule “is achieving respirable dust levels to protect miners’ health.”

The Obama administration established the 2014 rule to help eliminate black lung by lowering legal dust levels. The rule was opposed by the coal mining industry, which tried and failed to stop it in a federal appeals court in 2016.

Trump signed legislation in February to overturn the Stream Protection Rule, which protected waterways near surface coal mining operations, snd insured that coal communities had access to clean water, noted The Hill.

Trump slammed the safety rule as a jobs-killer:

This rule we’re eliminating it’s a major threat to your jobs, and we’re going to get rid of that threat immediately. We’re going to fight for you like I promised I would in the campaign. And you were very good to me, and I’m going to be even better to you, I promise you that.

(Source: Charleston Gazette-Mail, The Hill, Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

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