According to Mark Hand, writing Think Progress, while “President Donald Trump is taking credit for the fact that there have been “zero deaths in 2017,” when it comes to “commercial aviation,” he is refusing to take responsibility for a year in which “almost twice as many coal mine workers died on the job than the final year of the Obama administration.”
After a new study described 2017 as “the safest year on record for commercial aviation,” Trump took to Twitter with the message:
“Since taking office, I have been very strict on Commercial Aviation. Good news — it was just reported that there were zero deaths in 2017, the best and safest year on record!”
“Nowhere in the analysis,” undertaken by the independent research group, Aviation Safety Network, writes Hand, “did the researchers mention efforts by the Trump administration as a reason for the airline safety improvement.” Instead, the study finds, the “average number of airliner accidents has shown a steady and persistent decline,” over the last 20 years, “thanks to “safety-driven efforts by international aviation organizations and the aviation industry.”
The coal mining sector is a completely different story, however. According to Hand, “data from the Trump’s administration’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), the federal government’s mine safety agency, show coal mining deaths nearly doubled in 2017.” There could many reasons for this, muses Hand, including an 8 percent rise in the demand for coal, as well as mining companies “taking more risks under the assumption that enforcement will be more lax.” The government has already made a step back from safety enforcement, says Hand, with the “Trump administration [announcing] plans to examine whether it should weaken rules aimed at fighting black lung among coal miners,” and the president tapping “a former coal executive with a record of safety violations to head MSHA.”
Find out more about Trump and coal industry regulations by reading “Trump took credit for airline safety in 2017. What about the surge in coal miner deaths?,” written by Mark Hand and published by Think Progress on January 2, 2018.