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Black Lung Benefit Fund Would See Major Boost from Change to Coal Tax

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

Changing the structure of the tax on coal mining that funds federal benefits for miners could bring tens of millions of dollars annually to the cash-strapped Black Lung Disability Trust Fund. Currently, the fund does not receive any revenue from exported coal.

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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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Covid’s impact on coal sharpens the pandemic’s economic hardships

Empty train cars along a mountain road

Even before the pandemic, a growing number of coal companies were declaring bankruptcy — and now the decades-long decline of coal is in a nosedive. This will leave already-shortchanged coalfield communities even less money to deal with decades of damage to people’s health and the environment.

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Black Lung Healthcare Legislation Sees Progress

black lung demonstration

Congress temporarily reinstated a tax on coal companies that funds black lung benefits for miners and their families in December. Advocates continue to push for further protections for coal workers.

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Progress on healthcare for miners with black lung disease

black lung demonstration

Congress reinstated a tax to fund healthcare and benefits for miners with black lung and their families for 2020 — but further action is needed to extend the tax and support the fund for 10 years.

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Bills Support Miners’ Pensions, Black Lung Benefits

A Senate bill would help fund miners’ pensions, including those affected by recent bankruptcies. In the House, a bill would re-instate a historic tax on coal companies to fund healthcare for miners with black lung disease.

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Bankruptcies Highlight Concerns with Black Lung Benefits Fund

Coal company bankruptcies are putting the federal Black Lung Disability Trust Fund in further jeopardy.

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Blackjewel’s black lung problem

Bankrupt coal company Blackjewel owes nearly $10 million in taxes to the fund that provides benefits to miners with black lung disease whose employer has gone bankrupt.

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Miners Take Black Lung Demands to D.C.

Approximately 150 Appalachian coal miners, widows and their loved ones visited Capitol Hill in July to demand that Congress reinstate a tax rate on coal companies for black lung healthcare and benefits.

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