Williamson, W.Va. – This coming weekend, a new Don Blankenship funded ad which is part of the For The Sake of Miners series will begin airing on television. The ad is on behalf of and for the sake of coal miners. The hope is that some government official will take note and help miners get their long idled dust scrubbers turned back on.

This ad is another demonstration of how out of touch Senator Manchin is and how disinterested he is in the well being of coal miners. He knows that the dust scrubbers are idle. He is also well aware that Senator Byrd dedicated himself to reducing dust in the coal mines by advocating for the use of dust scrubbers decades ago. Scrubbers protect miner health and improve miner safety.

Many dust scrubbers have been idled since shortly after President Obama took office. Manchin who supportedPresident Obama for election knew Obama intended to declare war on coal and coal miners. He should also know that the government’s National Institute of Safety and Health (NIOSH) which is a department of the Center for Disease Control disagrees with MSHA’s idling of dust scrubbers. Manchin being unaware that MSHA has idled miners scrubbers is simply not believable.

Ironically NIOSH’s biggest concern about the idling of dust scrubbers is that they can cause a dust explosion like the one MSHA falsely claims occurred at UBB. Miners unlike Manchin are well aware that the scrubbers protect their health and that they remove coal bed methane gas from the mine face more quickly than is possible without them. One thing is certain. A Senator representing West Virginia should keep himself aware of what is of concern to coal miners health and safety. Senator Manchin clearly does not.

Manchin states emphatically in this video that he will not criticize MSHA. Clearly anyone in any role that contributes to less safe mining has to be subject to criticism. The Senator does not say that if MSHA is wrong he would be the first to say so. He instead says he will not criticize MSHA even after being told they cut the airflow in half at UBB just before the explosion and knowing they are requiring dust scrubbers to be idled.

Scott Mounts is a current day continuous miner operator who works every day with his dust scrubber idle. He asks that his scrubber be turned on and correctly states that it is ridiculous that his scrubber is idle. Mounts is in full agreement with NIOSH when he says the scrubbers should be on “no matter what”.