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Fighting for Black Lung Benefits for Miners and Families

A woman poses next to her husband with her arm around his shoulders.

Kathryn South’s husband, Mike South, was diagnosed with black lung disease at age 35. As they grappled with his disease, the couple also navigated the arduous legal process to obtain federal black lung benefits, a fight that Kathryn continued even after Mike’s passing.

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Confronting Rising Black Lung

Amid an ongoing surge in severe black lung disease among coal miners, federal lawmakers have introduced a number of bills aimed at assisting affected miners and their families. The Inflation Reduction Act shored up funding for benefits, and advocates are pushing for additional measures.

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Advocates applaud introduction of Rep. Scott & Adams’ 10-year extension of excise tax for Black Lung Disability Trust Fund

Today, Rep. Bobby Scott (VA-03) and Rep. Alma Adams (NC-12) introduced the Black Lung Benefits Disability Trust Fund Solvency Act of 2022 to extend the Coal Excise Tax for 10 years, with original cosponsors Rep. John Yarmuth (KY-3) and Rep. Matt Cartwright (PA-12).

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Black Lung Advocate Judith Riffe is Making Change (and Quilts) in West Virginia

woman with light blonde hair and glasses holds a quilt square with cutout images of miners, a canary, mining boots, coal and a Bible

Judith Riffe of the Wyoming County Black Lung Association uses her quilt-making talents to fundraise for the chapter and is spearheading the installation of a statue to bring attention to the role of women miners.

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Black Lung Association asks Sen. Capito to support 10-year extension of black lung excise tax

Black man with gray beard wearing a "Black Lung Kills" t-shirt speaks into a microphone, tears on his face

Members of the Black Lung Association are asking U.S. Sen. Shelly Moore Capito to support a 10-year extension of the Black Lung Excise Tax to shore up funding for black lung benefits.

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POSTPONED: Miners with black lung launch two weeks of demonstrations urging Sen. Capito to back 10-year extension of Black Lung Excise Tax

Contact Trey Pollard, 202-904-9187, trey@pollardcommunications.com Due to inclement weather and the increased risk it poses to people with black lung, these demonstrations have been postponed. This press release was updated at 11 a.m. on Dec. 6. CHARLESTON, WV — Today,

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Miners with black lung call on Congress to protect benefits

five miners wearing shirts that say Black Lung Kills gather around a notepad

In an August webinar, advocates and representatives of the Black Lung Association discussed the critical importance for the passage of a permanent 25% increase to the Black Lung Excise Tax on coal companies.

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Tighter silica rules needed to protect miners from black lung disease

chart shows how MSHA allows twice as much silica dust exposure as other agencies

Coal miners are legally allowed to be exposed to twice as much dangerous silica dust as any other worker. That needs to change.

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Congress includes one-year extension of black lung excise tax in omnibus spending bill

A one-year extension of the excise tax that funds the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund is included in the 2021 omnibus spending bill. This is the second year in a row that a one-year extension has been included in the

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Coal miners call on Congress for support amidst dual threats from black lung and COVID-19

The coal industry is trying to exploit the coronavirus pandemic for a tax break at the expense of healthcare and disability benefits for miners with black lung, but miners are pushing back.

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