The Manchin administration in West Virginia has decided that the needs of its new, state-owned technology park outweigh the needs of miner safety.
Let's walk through this:
- Governor Manchin just did an ad on mine safety. One highly negative towards John Raese.
- The mine featured is actually unsafe, having been sanctioned earlier for methane level violations.
- The dangers of too-high methane levels can be mitigated in part, by using a procedure by which crushed limestone is spread around to limit the extent of explosions.
- Manchin - which much fanfare, and after a major mine disaster - pushed through an executive order mandating the increased use of crushed limestone (or 'rock dust')
- Despite this executive order, there have been no investigations since its passing to indicate whether the new rules on rock dust have been enforced.
- This is because the regulatory agency that would enforce that executive order - and which has been funded to enforce that executive order - has been ordered by the state to abandon existing plans for a lab and set it up instead in the West Virginia Education, Research and Technology Park. The lab is not yet ready.
- The West Virginia Education, Research and Technology Park used to be the South Charleston Technology Park, before it was taken over by... the Manchin administration, back in February.
- In other words, the Manchin administration is holding up the enforcement of what was touted as critical mine environmental safety legislation until it gets the space in its boutique tech park ready for its (forced) tenant.
- And then Manchin did an attack ad using a mine in recent violation of West Virginia's own regulatory system.
But John Raese is apparently the bad guy who plays games with miners' lives. At least, that's the message that Manchin wants people to take away from his ad campaign.
Crossposted to Moe Lane.