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University of Illinois Press author Jeff Biggers (In the Sierra Madre) appeared on the Rachel Maddow Show last week (April 6) to discuss the mine disaster in Montcoal, West Virginia, which killed twenty-nine miners. Biggers, whose latest book is Reckoning at Eagle Creek: The Secret Legacy of Coal in the Heartland (Nation Books), said that between 2008 and 2009 the mine in Montcoal had had five hundred violations but that during this period it had tripled its coal production. He asked why we allow coal companies to contest violations in court for years when this allows an unsafe mine to continue working. “We have to hold accountable any kind of company that openly and admittedly operates mines with incredibly gross and outrageous violations—we can’t let them off the hook.”

Click for web only Jeff Biggers interview.

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