Michigan Congressman Tim Walberg reportedly told MetroNews Talkline late Wednesday that as the chairman of the US House Workforce Protection subcommittee, he believed the probe raised many questions.
“Some inspections were done, violations were found and they backed away from citing and levying the fines,” he told the West Virginia regional news outlet and allegedly said he wanted to know why.
A meeting between Walberg and MSHA Assistant Labor Secretary Joe Main as well as others to discuss the internal review was scheduled for Thursday on Capitol Hill, MetroNews reported.
No information from the meeting was publicly available at press time.
Walberg told the outlet that with the coal industry serving as an important facet of the US economy, the enforcement process for the nation’s mines needed to work to protect miners.
“We have regulators that are in place to make sure that the miners who do this job for us are able to go down and have reasonable certainty that not only will they go down in the morning, let's say, but that they'll come out in the afternoon safe and sound to go to their families again,” he said.
Following the Capitol Hill meeting, Walberg reportedly told MetroNews he was planning a hearing with the House’s subcommittee on workforce protections regarding the review.
“[We need] to learn from this extremely significant tragedy and make something good come out of it for the future for all of the mining industry, whether it's in West Virginia, Pennsylvania or any other place in this great country,” he said.
The UBB blast in Raleigh County took the lives of 29 workers.
The mine and its owner Massey Energy were acquired by Alpha Natural Resources last June.