President Barack Obama on Thursday ordered federal officials to take another look at all mines with bad safety records.
"We can't just hold mining companies accountable. We have to hold Washington accountable," the president said.
Obama vowed that government authorities would move as quickly as possible to get inspectors into mines with safety violations.
"If a mining company consistently violates safety standards, they should be subjected to the tougher enforcement that comes with being placed on an updated pattern of violations list," he said.
The move comes in response to the April 5 explosion at the Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia that killed 29 people. The mine, owned by Massey Energy Co., had a history of safety violations.
"All those responsible for conditions in the Upper Big Branch Mine should be made accountable for the decisions they made and preventive measures they failed to take," Obama said.
The president added that he believes there are far too many mines where safety is inadequate.