Robert Murray blames Obama for laying off workers. Plutocrats at their finest
Throughout the presidential campaign, Republicans repeatedly accused the Obama administration of waging a “war on coal.” This despite the fact that the number of coal jobs is actually higher now than it was when President Obama took office, and that many of the reasons the industry has lost jobs in the past year have nothing to do with Obama—like the lower demand for coal because of cheap natural gas or declining quality in reserves.
Now that Obama won, at least one mining executive is aiming to make the “war on coal” real by laying off a bunch of workers. In Carbon County, Utah (yes, that’s really its name), UtahAmerican Energy Inc. announced on Thursday that it has laid off 102 employees in response to Obama’s reelection. It is a subsidiary of Murray Energy Corp., which is, as you may recall, the same company that told Ohio miners that they had to attend a Romney rally in August and that reportedly threatened employees’ jobs if they didn’t support the company’s conservative-aligned political action committee.
Lets don’t forget Robert Murray blamed a earth quake on Crandall Canyon Mine collapse
Murray and his companies received national attention in August 2007 when six miners were trapped at the Crandall Canyon Mine in Utah, of which Murray Energy independent operating subsidiary UtahAmerican Energy had been a part-owner for 12 months. Prior to the collapse, the Crandall Canyon Mine had received 64 violations and $12,000 in fines, magnitudes similar to other mines of this size in the United States. He says that the safety violations were trivial and included violations such as not having enough toilet paper in the restroom. However, some news agencies reported troubling violations at other of Murray’s operations. CNN specifically cited Murray’s Illinois Galatia mine, which had almost 3,500 safety citations in the prior two and a half years.
Murray claims that the Crandall Canyon Mine collapse was triggered by a 3.9 magnitude earthquake, while government seismologists say the mine collapse was the cause of a coal mine bump. Richard E. Stickler, the government’s top mine safety official said “It was not — and I repeat, it was not — a natural occurring earthquake.”
Douglas S. Dreger, a seismologist at the University of California, Berkeley, said in the July 2008 issue of Science that his analysis strongly suggested that the mountain crumbled in two stages: After the pillars collapsed, giant, angled slabs of sandstone above the mine abruptly shifted. When the mine collapse finally occurred, it was so powerful that it registered as a 3.9 earthquake.
On July 24, 2008, the U.S. government’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) announced its highest penalty for coal mine safety violations, $1.85 million, for the collapse. The government fined Genwal Resources $1.34 million “for violations that directly contributed to the deaths of six miners last year,” plus nearly $300,000 for other violations. The government also levied a $220,000 fine against a mining consultant, Agapito Associates, “for faulty analysis of the mine’s design.”
Following the Crandall Canyon tragedy, the Mine Safety and Health Administration also was faulted by its parent agency, the U.S. Department of Labor, both for lax oversight before the collapse and for its handling of a haphazard rescue effort that left three more people dead. An independent review of MSHA’s role in Crandall Canyon by retired MSHA managers Earnest Teaster and Joseph Pavlovich, found that the agency failed to properly consider bounce activity in the mine prior to approving the mining plan, failed to properly evaluate the roof control plan and failed to follow established mine rescue protocols at all times at Crandall Canyon Mine. Specifically, the authors wrote that, “MSHA’s failure to adequately evaluate the roof control plans contributed to the August 6 accident.” An independent review of MSHA’s actions at Crandall Canyon also faults the agency for failing to control access to the mine, concluding that “MSHA improperly allowed media representatives and family members to enter the rescue area, and allowed an unlimited number of persons underground during the rescue operation.”
Close to 2 million in fines and the death of 6 men———just the cost of doing business.
I dont know if the employees that got laid off were the ones required to contribute to the PAC—–BUT GEEZE
An ethics watchdog group wants to know whether an Ohio coal company violated federal election rules by forcing employees to donate to Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington sent a complaint to the Federal Election Commission on Tuesday alleging that Murray Energy and its CEO Robert Murray “coerced” company employees to make contributions to its political action committee (PAC).
The company’s PAC regularly donates hundreds of thousands of dollars to Republican politicians. The CREW complaint, based on reporting in The New Republic, alleges that the company threatened employees with “financial reprisals, including the loss of their jobs” if they did not contribute to the PAC.