Dear Editor:

What is the value of human life today?

When will companies who operate under extremely dangerous conditions such as in coal mining and large oil refineries begin to realize that human life is much more valuable than their profits? Within less than a year there has been 29 human lives lost in two separate coal mining accidents, and recently 11 more lives have been taken in this BP oil drilling disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

None of these lives should have been wasted as they were, if only there had been more emphasis being put on safety awareness by the owners and managers of these operations. There is no excuse for these companies to be making the large profits they are reaping while precautionary safety measures are lacking. I read that the CEO in charge of the coal mine in West Virginia was earning an annual salary of $11 million dollars, while 21 hard working men were suffocating to death in a deep-hole mine from a lack of adequate ventilation during methane gas exposure.

To think, only a million dollars of the CEO's salary could have been invested into a better ventilation system, and those brave miners would still be alive today to continue to love and support their families. Another example of extreme negligence is the BP Oil Company making billions of dollars in profits, and yet the operation managers in charge of the oil rig in the Gulf refused to stop production, so the safety mechanisms that were noticeably failing could be repaired.

In this case, nine of the 11 men who died doing their job were literally incinerated from the fire caused by the tremendous explosion, which also could have been prevented if only more value had been placed on the human life factor.

Our Holy Bible says; "For the love of money; is the root of all evil." and God's Word is proven to be true as we are all witnessing this in the world today.

John M. "Jack" Selby

Hometown