Utah Mine Disaster Linked to Ohio
Thanks to Bill Callahan, the Dean of Cleveland bloggers, for examining the Ohio ramifications of the Crandall Canyon mine disaster in Utah. Mine owner Murray Energy Corp. is based in Cleveland and owner Robert Murray, whom Callahan accurately describes as "a spotlight-hogging, blame-shifting, anti-union, anti-regulator, anti-environmentalist Throwback Mine Owner" lives in the nearby suburb of Pepper Pike. And thanks also to the anonymous blogger at Ohio 15th District for noting that Murray is an active contributor to Republican candidates, including Ohio's Sen. George Voinovich, Rep. Deborah Pryce, and Rep. Pat Tiberi.
Among other outrageous statements during the Crandall Canyon mine crisis, Murray has insisted that the accident was caused by an earthquake despite contrary statements by government seismologists, and railed against the campaign against global warming. The non-union Crandall Canyon mine has been cited for numerous safety violations, including 15 in July.
But here is the most disturbing aspect of this for Ohio, as explained by Callahan:
Murray owns and operates Ohio’s two biggest underground mines, Powhatan #6 in Belmont County and the Century Mine on the Belmont/Monroe border. In 2005 (the last year for which the state has data online) these two mines employed over 600 of Ohio’s 1,700 coal miners, and over 900 of the state’s 2,500 total coal industry employees. Murray’s operations accounted for almost 75% of Ohio’s underground coal production, and 45% of all Ohio coal mined that year.Yes, it could happen here next.