Don L. Blankenship, chairman and chief executive officer of Massey Energy Company (left), watches as protesters disrupt a luncheon at the National Press Club, where he spoke on Thursday. Wayne Huang/NPR hide caption

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Mine ventilation issues are critical to running a safe coal mine. Here, a rescuer walks through a blocked tunnel in the Crandall Canyon Mine, northwest of Huntington, Utah, where six coal miners were trapped in 2007. Rick Browmer/AP hide caption

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Methane monitors are mounted on 30-foot-long continuous miners like this one, and other mining machines, to warn coal miners about dangerous levels of explosive methane gas. File photo hide caption

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Methane monitors are mounted on 30-foot-long continuous miners like this one because methane gas collects in pockets near the roofs of mines. File photo hide caption

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Sgt. Victor Medina suffered brain damage when an IED hit his truck in Iraq. Even after he was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury, he found he had to fight to get adequate care. Blake Gordon/Aurora Photos hide caption

itoggle caption Blake Gordon/Aurora Photos

Michelle Dyarman, a former major in the Army reserves, was involved in two roadside bomb attacks and a Humvee accident in Iraq in 2005 that left her with serious cognitive problems. David Gilkey/NPR hide caption

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