A protester holds a sign behind Massey Energy Company Vice President and General Council Shane Harvey, left, and Massey Energy Company Chief Executive Officer Don Blankenship, as they wait to testify on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, May 20, 2010, before the Senate Health and Human Services subcommittee hearing on mine safety. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Here’s Massey Energy’s response to the McAteer report, in the form of a comment from Shane Harvey, Massey’s general counsel:
“We have just received Davitt McAteer’s report and are carefully reviewing it. We do have some initial observations.
“We agree with Davitt that the industry needs to examine whether it can achieve better methane monitoring technology. At UBB, all methane monitors were functional and yet the mine experienced a massive inundation of methane-rich natural gas that was not detected in time to prevent the explosion. We have been examining where improvements in methane monitoring can be made and we hope to develop some better technologies as a result of our investigation.
“We disagree with Davitt’s conclusion that this was an explosion fueled by coal dust. Again, we believe that the explosion was caused by a massive inundation of methane-rich natural gas. Our experts feel confident that coal dust did not play an important role. Our experts continue to study the UBB explosion and our goal is to find answers and technologies that ultimately make mining safer.”