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safety only a minor issue

The attempts to cast mine rescue as the high point of compassionate conservatism seem even more shallow in light of a United Mine Workers of America statement commenting on the fact that, in the same year as two serious mine accidents -- the first of which led to the deaths of thirteen miners -- the Bush administration has sought to reduce significantly the budget of the Mine Safety and Health Administration. The UMWA notes that, prior to the first, fatal accident, the MSHA had cited the mine for thirty-one safety violations, but the citations had gone unheeded by the mine operators.