Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The Truth About Coal Mining Safety Under Bush II

Major right-wing blogs such as Michelle Malkin's have been trumpeting the spin from Bizzyblog that fatalities have gone down annually during the Bush administration, so they imagine New York Times editorial blaming the Bush administration for lax mine safety enforcement was misguided. In fact, working hours in coal mines have dropped forty percent since 1993, so fatalities would have to drop forty percent just to stay at the same safety rate per 200,000 working hours (the way FMSHA reported fatality rates on their summaries until 1999. Draw your own conclusion). Bizzyblog's statistics radically misrepresent the FACTS.

If we calculate underground coal mining fatalities per 200,000 working hours they look like this:

Over the last twelve years, the most lethal year in underground coal mining was 2001. The next most lethal year was 1996.

From 1993 to 2005 per 200,000 working hours:

1993 .04780
1994 .04196
1995 .04868
1996 .06485
1997 .04162
1998 .04763
1999 .04051
2000 .04428
2001 .07660
2002 .03138
2003 .03495
2004 .03798
2005 .03136

All statistics are taken from the FMSHA website
The statistics are not aggregated per 200,000 working hours so I had to make those calculations myself.