Friday, August 17, 2007

How Green Was My Valley

The bad news from the Utah mine collapse continue. The owner of the mine, Bob Murray, has been the public face of much of the commentary, but no more:

Bob Murray, the outspoken owner of the Crandall Canyon Mine, did not appear at a news conference today to discuss the deaths of three rescue workers and the injuries of six others.


He has also been combative, sparring with seismologists over earthquakes and mine collapses, denouncing global warming, promoting the benefits of coal energy, blasting union "lackeys" and even calling out news reporters he said wrote or broadcast inaccurate statements. Since Thursday night's fatal cave-in, Murray has reportedly not left the Crandall Canyon Mine.

It is not for me to say what caused the mine collapse and the later blast which killed three rescue workers. But I doubt that Bob Murray is a neutral voice in these matters. He has an interest in the outcome of any investigation, for one thing. It is odd that he has been allowed to introduce union-bashing into the conversation and even odder that his earthquake theories are not subjected to greater scrutiny. I understand that the kind of mining that was carried on in this mine is very dangerous, because it removes the support structures as the miners retreat. Surely this is relevant, even if an earthquake was the original cause of the first collapse.