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CONSOL: Safety critical to future of coal mining

Mar. 08, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

CHARLESTON -- Coal has a role in the nation's energy future, but the president of CONSOL Energy says West Virginia must improve its safety culture to participate fully.

Nicholas DeIuliis said Thursday in Charleston that a string of fatalities has forced the industry to re-examine itself.

Last year was Pennsylvania-based CONSOL's safest year on record. But recent fatalities at its Robinson Run and Loveridge mines have forced company officials to look inward for answers.

DeIuliis says incremental safety improvements aren't good enough: The shared industry goal should be zero accidents.

Operators can and have embraced new technology. But DeIuliis says the biggest challenge is still getting into the hearts and heads of every coal miner.