Commentary: Mine safety rules must be tougher

Investigators are still exploring the causes of an explosion that killed 29 West Virginia miners in April.

But based on what's already known, Congress should enact mine safety legislation that got its first hearing before a House committee this week.

Especially critical are provisions that would shut down mines that have a pattern of serious safety violations and increase penalties for retaliating against miners who report dangerous conditions.

Everyone should remember, however, that worker safety laws are only as effective as the agencies that enforce them.

Unless the Mine Safety and Health Administration is revitalized, new laws won't make much difference.

To read the complete editorial, visit www.kentucky.com.