200 Miners Trapped Underground After Fire In Mine

As the death toll in a coal mine explosion in the western Turkish town of Soma climbs toward 300, devastated workers and residents are lashing out at the country’s leadership. Widespread protests have broken out in several cities as people blame the government for prioritizing profit over safety. Numerous coal mining operations have been privatized, making them more productive, but also more dangerous many claim. “They want to produce more and more coal for less and less money. The effort to make more profit impedes negatively on work safety. “Private mines produce a tonne of coal for a fifth of the price of a government-owned mine, but this is only due to cuts at all the wrong places.” [The Guardian] [Local English-language press reporting from Hurriyet Daily News]

FERC concluded an Environmental Assessment of the proposed Cove Point LNG export facility would not have a significant negative impact “on the quality of the human environment.” The commission decided a more stringent Environmental Impact Statement is not required, which angers environmental groups, but satisfies industry supporters. [The Hill]

Gazprom is reportedly talking to Singapore’s stock exchange and preparing paperwork that would allow the Russian state-controlled gas company to list its shares. This comes amid wide speculation that Gazprom is close to signing a long-term gas supply deal with Chinese NOC CNPC. Putin plans to travel to China next week. [Reuters via Moscow Times]