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President Obama: “Our task…is to save lives from being lost in another such tragedy”

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Click here for a report by Michael Shear of the Washington Post.

The president had already expressed his anger about what he called the failures that led to the blast, and has pledged federal action to reveal the causes of the accident and safeguard other mines.

“How can we fail them?” he asked the hundreds assembled in what had once been the Beckley armory. “How can a nation that relies on its miners not do everything in its power to protect them?

“Our task here on Earth,” he said, “is to save lives from being lost in another such tragedy.”

Speaking before Obama, Vice President Biden hinted at the long debate to come about how to make mining safer.

“As a community and a nation, we could compound tragedy if we let life go on unchanged,” he said. “Certainly, no one should have to sacrifice his life for his livelihood.”

Biden promised that the nation will “have that conversation later.”

I couldn’t agree more with both President Obama and Vice President Biden; at the minimum, if we are going to keep consuming coal, we need to do everything we can to ensure that no more miners are killed producing it for us.