Founder of Mine Company Slams Media for Misleading Reporting

Bob Murray is the founder and President of Murray Energy Corporation, the company that owns and operates the Utah mine that collapsed after an earthquake struck the area on August 6th. Apparently he has been under a lot of pressure from the mainstream media and various interest groups to accept blame for what he calls a natural disaster. But Mr. Murray is not taking the pressure sitting down. This morning he held a press conference to cast away any doubts as to the cause of the collapse, clear up any misconceptions about the mine's safety record and put the American people on notice that they should not depend on the Associated Press for any truths. He also took a swipe at Fox News and Congress for recent global warming legislation; a little something for all. (video at Webloggin)

I particularly cite Mr. Seth Borenstein of the associated press for particularly bad reporting and as of this morning the Fox News Network on what has occurred here. Rather than utilize the truthful statements that you have heard here, the associated press and Mr. Borenstein chose to use statements from Mrs. McAteer, Oppegard, Odell and Roberts, who were totally false and have nothing to do with or have any understanding of what's happened here. And this morning Fox News network was at it also. I hope you report that and I will cite to you in every one of these interviews all false reporting that we hear. But I would certainly not depend on the Associated Press and Mr. Borenstein for any truths if I were an American citizen.

The statements by Mr. Murray are in response to an article that Borenstein wrote this morning that looked past any facts in cause of the Utah mine collapse and concentrated instead on the type of mining being done. Borenstein then solicits the comments of a private attorney who used to work in the mining industry. The angle, as expected, is one where the mines forgo the safety of the workers to get the last bit of coal for "pure profit", finally alluding to the conclusion that the pay off is worth the risk because a collapse would wipe away the evidence of rules violations.

WASHINGTON - The method of mining used at the Utah mine that collapsed Monday, trapping six miners, has a history of being disproportionately deadly, according to federal safety studies.[~snip]It is "the most dangerous type of mining there is," said Tony Oppegard, a former top federal and Kentucky mine-safety official who is now a private attorney in Lexington, Ky., representing miners.According to the American Society of Safety Engineers, retreat mining requires precise planning and sequencing to ensure roof stability while the pillars supporting the roof are removed.The reason the practice is used is that it pays off: The last bit of coal taken from pillars is pure profit, Oppegard said. Plus, if someone violates rules during pillar removal and there is a collapse, the evidence of rule violations is gone, he said.

There is no doubt in my mind that an agenda is being driven in Borenstein's report. Why else would he concentrate on the type of mining being done instead of getting geological information that would substantiate or disprove the claims of the mining company? The last sentence about the evidence of rule violations "being gone" is simply ridiculous. A perfect drive by for a perfectly silly report that leads the reader to believe that a greedy corporation is violating safety rules to make a quick buck. Mr. Murray did not stop at the press however. He also took a swipe at global warming legislation working its way through congress.

"We produce a product that is essential to the standard of living of every American because our coal produces 52% of the energy in America today, and it is the lowest cost energy, costing 1/3rd to 1/4th the cost of energy from natural gas, nuclear and renewable energy resources. And without coal to manufacture electricity our products will not compete in the global marketplace against foreign countries because our manufacturers depend on coal, low cost electricity and people on fixed incomes will not be able to pay their electric bills. Everyone one of those global warming bills that have been introduced into congress today eliminates the coal industry and will increase your electric rates, four to five fold."

Mr. Murray has worked in the mining industry all his life, he knows his facts and he came to the fight ready to take on all willing. Today the press met its match.This article is crossposted at Webloggin.