Sunday, November 11, 2012

Bob Crandall

On August 14th miners from the Century coal mine near Beallsville Ohio were told by their employer that attendance of a political rally for Mitt Romney was mandatory. The mine they worked at was shuttered for the day, and the not-so-subtly implied threat was that there would never work for them at the mine if they were discovered to have not attended the Romney rally.  Exactly five years earlier another mine owned by one of Robert E. Murray’s companies was also shuttered. On Monday, August 6, 2007, at 2:48 A.M. the Crandall Canyon mine near Huntington Utah suffered a collapse that trapped six miners; on August 14th the mine was still swarming with increasingly despondent rescuers.

In 2007 Bobb E. Murray was the figurehead of several mining companies that were being fused into a continuous coal mining operation that leveraged techniques to maximize profitable production from the mines; they were able to lap up existing operations, and whip them back into profitability. Accident rates at Murray-owned mines were often several times the national average for comparable mines. In 2003 just one of his mines in Kentucky earned Murray’s company (in this case KenAmerican Resources) a total of $306,000 in fines.

I take the safety of my miners to bed with me every night." – Robert E. Murray to the Columbus Dispatch years before 50 Shades of Gray was published.

Murray’s company had only owned the Crandall mine for a few months when it collapsed, and so his group had only amassed $12,000 in fines. This was undoubtedly a small amount in comparison to the increased profit the new mining techniques at Crandall were bringing in.

Though it is not new to the world retreat mining was apparently new to the Crandall mine. They had been removing the coal using a method called Room and Pillar where columns of coal are left behind to hold up the roof. In retreat mining miners go in and take out the columns of coal.

On August 6th 2007 a large section of the roof collapsed causing a large bump. So much material moved that it registered 3.9 on the Richter sale to local seismographs.

Bob Murray contributes large amounts of money to political figures. He testifies on safety matters. He influences the tenure of mine safety bureaucrats. Of all the candidates he has supported Mitt Romney was one of his favorites. He was emotionally driven to get his miners to the rally this august.

In his August 2007 appearances he was also described as emotional. He was also described as “Angry” and “Rambling” and “Melting down”. Pictures from one of his post collapse press conferences for the families of the trapped miners show him tracing the path of mock tears on his face with his fingers. Though Murray was emotional at the collapse conference he was not attune to the emotions of those to whom he was speaking. He was described as “Callous” and “Damaging”.

Murray seized upon the 3.9 seismographic reading. He insisted that it was a natural earthquake, and promised proof. He never suggested that a natural earthquake might have aftershocks (or might be a preshock) that would endanger the rescuers. Apparently the insistence from all scientific sources that the characteristics of the seismograph readings were those of a mine bump not a natural earthquake were good enough when determining the safety of his workers; it only fell short when it came to blame-shifting.

Murray's political efforts do not end at supporting political candidates. He attacked the notion of climate change and Al Gore by prophesizing: “the destruction of American lives and more death as a result of his hysterical global goofiness with no environmental benefit." as a result of cap-and-trade. Hillary Clinton was “Anti-American”.

On August 16th 2007 the Crandall mine suffered another collapse. Three resue workers were killed, and six more wounded. The bodies of the three rescue workers were recovered, but the bodies of the initial six trapped miners still remain in the mine.

Murray’s company was levied over $1 million in fines as a result of the Crandall collapse. The fines were appealed for years, and on September 27th 2012 settled with the Federal government on the last of the fines to a tune of $1.1 million.

Murray still maintains that the bump was caused by a natural earthquake, but has yet to produce any of his promised evidence. All of the geologists who have examined the seismographic data have declared that it was a product of the bump, and not the cause.

A few weeks after settling on the fines Murray’s candidate for president was defeated.

The day after the election Murray fired about 150 workers. About two-thirds (105) of them had worked in Utah.

In addition to the pink slip the fired miners were given a copy of Murray’s “Prayer for America” that explained the motivation for the action.

Here is the text of Murray’s “Prayer for America”:

Dear Lord:

The American people have made their choice. They have decided that America must change its course, away from the principals of our Founders. And, away from the idea of individual freedom and individual responsibility. Away from capitalism, economic responsibility, and personal acceptance.

We are a Country in favor of redistribution, national weakness and reduced standard of living and lower and lower levels of personal freedom.

My regret, Lord, is that our young people, including those in my own family, never will know what America was like or might have been. They will pay the price in their reduced standard of living and, most especially, reduced freedom.

The takers outvoted the producers. In response to this, I have turned to my Bible and in II Peter, Chapter 1, verses 4-9 it says, “To faith we are to add goodness; to goodness, knowledge; to knowledge, self control; to self control, perseverance; to perseverance, godliness; to godliness, kindness; to brotherly kindness, love.”

Lord, please forgive me and anyone with me in Murray Energy Corp. for the decisions that we are now forced to make to preserve the very existence of any of the enterprises that you have helped us build. We ask for your guidance in this drastic time with the drastic decisions that will be made to have any hope of our survival as an American business enterprise.


Many right-wing religious nut-jobs are angrily despondent over the re-election of POTUS Obama. My look-alike -Glenn Beck- has advised his listeners to buy up farmland and guns.

Ted Nugent, who owns lots of farmland and guns, suggests that "Pimps and Whores" " hav a president to destroy America".  I think he was talking about Glenn. 

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