Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) has said it is time for Congress to stop delaying the passage of Federal legislation that would help to keep coal miners safe, The Associated Press reported.
According to the news outlet, his comments came on the heels of an internal review that criticized the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) for its handling of West Virginia's Upper Big Branch mine prior to an explosion in 2010 that led to the deaths of 29 men.
The AP reported that Rockefeller noted that the depth of the agency's failures were appalling and unacceptable, saying that the MSHA must address the report's issues and help to ensure that the potential disastrous consequences are avoided in the future.
Rockefeller noted that legislation should be passed to give the MSHA more enforcement authority and increase penalties for violators.
According to The Wall Street Journal, a 308-page report from the MSHA outlined how the agency did not scrutinize parts of the mines and did not pursue aggressive policies to deter the company despite repeated violations.