President Obama was in West Virginia on Sunday for a memorial honoring the twenty-nine miners who died in the Massey Energy Upper Big Branch mine disaster earlier this month. A crowd of several thousand people was on hand to pay tribute to the dead workers. Obama has singled out Massey for failing to prevent the disaster, calling the explosion “a failure first and foremost of management.” On Sunday, Obama called for tightening safety standards at US mines.
President Obama: “How can we fail them? How can a nation that relies on its miners not do everything in its power to protect them? How can we let anyone in this country put their lives at risk by simply showing up to work, by simply pursuing the American dream? We cannot bring back the twenty-nine men we lost. They are with the Lord now. Our task, here on earth, is to save lives from being lost in another such tragedy.”