The U.S. House of Representatives passed new mine-safety legislation yesterday aimed at improving dangerous working conditions such as those that may have contributed to the Crandall Canyon Mine collapse that killed six workers and three rescue personnel last year. The bill allows independent investigations when accidents kill more than one miner, grants the Mine Safety and Health Administration subpoena power, creates an office to deal with miners’ safety concerns, ups the penalties for safety violations, requires mine operators to monitor coal dust levels, and would add at least some safeguards to the dangerous (but profitable) mining technique called “retreat mining.” A similar bill is making its way through the Senate. President Bush has threatened to veto the legislation if it lands on his desk, arguing, among other things, that the new bill doesn’t allow for industry input on some safety requirements such as testing for coal dust.