Digging for Clues After Sago

As Congress geared up for this week's hearings on the Sago mine accident, which killed 12 coalworkers earlier this month, disaster struck another West Virginia mine. A fire at Alma No. 1 last week left two people dead--and put new pressure on the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), which regulates mining operations. House Democrats are asking whether MSHA oversight has been not only weaker but also more secretive under the Bush Administration. Sago was cited for 208 alleged safety violations in 2005, Alma No. 1 for 95. In the past, the MSHA made its inspectors' full notes public, but...

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