Blog Archives

Funding for Black Lung Benefits Halved

complicated black lung disease

A tax on coal companies funding benefits for former miners with black lung disease was halved at the first of the year.

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Cuts to funding for black lung benefits

Despite significant grassroots pressure, an excise tax that pays into a healthcare and disability fund for miners with black lung was slashed in half. The lack of action by Congress amounts to a tax break for coal companies while putting benefits for former miners and their families at risk.

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Virginians brace for the fallout from Westmoreland Coal’s bankruptcy

westmoreland logo

Westmoreland Coal’s bankruptcy puts health benefits for 500 Virginians and pensions for 7,000 former Virginia miners in jeopardy. A bill proposed in the Senate would protect these benefits — and also shore up the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund.

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Black lung survivors take their case to Congress

Residents of Southwest Virginia went to Washington, D.C., to tell Congress about the plight of their neighbors, friends, family members and other coal miners with black lung disease.

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Federal fund for black lung healthcare in danger

coal miner

Our elected representatives need to step up and make sure coal companies pay their fair share toward healthcare for coal miners with black lung disease.

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Black Lung Disease Surges as Support for Miners Dwindles

A recent study shows that black lung disease in Appalachian coal miners is at a 25-year high — but federal taxes on coal companies that help compensate affected miners are set to expire next year.

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New Studies Document Rise of Black Lung Disease

Researchers identified over 4,000 cases of severe black lung disease over the past 50 years, with more than half occurring in the last 16 years.

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Coal Mine Deaths Rise in 2017, Agency to Reconsider Black Lung Rule

Coal mining fatalities are nearly double what they were last year, and the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration announced it would revisit a rule intended to protect miners from black lung disease.

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Severe Black Lung Disease Makes A Deadly Resurgence

lung with progressive massive fibrosis

Diagnoses of the most severe form of black lung disease, known as progressive massive fibrosis, are on the rise in Appalachia. The causes of this deadly trend aren’t entirely clear, though it may be linked to the silica rock dust associated with thinner layers of coal.

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New Mine Safety Standards Survive Industry Challenge

Despite challenges from industry groups, a federal court has upheld new mine safety standards that will go into effect on Feb. 1.

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