Investment Banks - Not Masks - Killed the Miners at Sago
The first thing we did was activate our rescuers, as we had been trained. At least four of the rescuers did not function. I shared my rescuer with Jerry Groves, while Junior Toler, Jesse Jones and Tom Anderson sought help from others. There were not enough rescuers to go around.The government denies the charge that the masks weren't working but says the men might not have known how to operate them. But, Randal's description of their immediate struggle to activate their masks "as [they] had been trained" suggests otherwise.--Randal MCloy, Sole Survivor, Sago Mine Disaster
The Mine Safety and Health Administration said tests showed the emergency breathing devices were in working order. However, it was unclear whether the miners knew how to use them.That says nothing about masks that were NOT activated, possibly because they COULD NOT be activated. But, this is beside the point.
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"We know that the Bush administration killed a proposal in 2001 that could have required the more frequent replacement of these self-contained, self-rescue units, required more inspection of these units and provided more adequate training on how to use them," California Rep. George Miller said.
MSHA spokesman Dirk Fillpot said the agency was looking into whether the miners were properly trained to use the devices. But he insisted the equipment should have worked.
"Initial testing conducted by MSHA and NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) on all SCSRs recovered after the explosion at the Sago mine found that those that were activated would have functioned properly," MSHA spokesman Dirk Fillpot said in a statement.
Why is the media focused on technical details and political figureheads while nary a peep is said about the investment banker that owns Sago?
Sago is not just about defective masks and inept and corrupt bureaucrats. It's about MONOPOLY and GREED at the heart of our economic and political system. It's time to have a look at the fundamentals that continue to fuel these disasters.
It's time to meet the man behind the mines of West Virginia.
They call him the bottom-feeder king. And, for good reason. Billionaire New York investor, Wilbur Ross, 68, is the chairman of his own private equity investment firm and is "known for buying up failed businesses, turning them around and selling them for huge profits."
He formed International Coal Group (ICG), based in Ashland, Kentucky, in 2004 "to buy coal firms that lacked the capital to maintain their mines." (I wonder why they lack capital?)
BTW, Lexington, Kentucky, where Ashland is located, ranks #2 among American cities as best place to start a business based on cost of doing business; second only to Albuquerque, NM.
Are you beginning to see why they call him a bottom-feeder? I guess he chose Ashland over Albuquerque because of its geographical proximity to West Virginia, the second biggest coal producing state in the country (Wyoming is the first). Spares no expense to be close to what he loves.
What else is in Ashland? The Ashland Oil Company, a huge player and a by-product of the infamous Standard Oil Company. Everything makes sense in context.
Last year, ICG acquired the Sago mine, where the 12 miners were killed, by buying bankrupt Anker Coal Group Inc.ICG has 11 active mining complexes, in West Virginia, Kentucky, Maryland and Illinois. Its revenues for the first nine months of 2005 totaled $466 million.Of course. Take a look at energy prices.