“A webinar presented Wednesday evening by a panel of miners and advocates from West Virginia, Kentucky and Virginia urged Congress to extend and raise a tax on coal production that provides health care benefits to miners and federal mine regulators to strengthen regulations to protect miners from getting black lung disease in the first place.
‘We’ve got to do something,’ Johnson said.
Members of the National Black Lung Association, the environmental group Appalachian Voices and the Appalachian Citizens’ Law Center, a Kentucky-based nonprofit law firm that represents coal miners on black lung and mine safety issues, urged Congress to permanently extend and raise by 25% an excise tax that coal producers must pay when coal they produce is first sold or used.
The excise tax is the main source of revenue for the Federal Black Lung Program and the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund, which pays benefits to miners disabled by the disease as well as their eligible survivors and dependents when no responsible coal operator is identified or when the liable operator does not pay.”
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