Will Alpha CEO Kevin Crutchfield endorse Massey’s ‘natural disaster’ defense in UBB explosion?

June 3, 2011 by Ken Ward Jr.

I just got off the phone with Davitt McAteer, who led the independent team investigating the Upper Big Branch Mine Disaster, producing a landmark report released last month.

Davitt had an opportunity to review the new report that former Massey board chairman Bobby Inman (right)  is promoting, repeating the same theories that the explosion was a natural disaster that former Massey CEO Don Blankenship championed.

And Davitt raises an interesting question: If this report was prepared by experts hired by Massey, and Alpha has purchased Massey, isn’t this report Alpha’s property now?

Given that — and given Alpha CEO Kevin Crutchfield’s statements about how Alpha wants to have a good relationship with regulators and work toward all of its mines “Running Right”, does Alpha endorse this report? Davitt told me:

Is this an Alpha report? The report appears to be a product of Massey Energy and Massey Energy was purchased by Alpha.

Has Alpha endorsed the report? And if they don’t endorse the report, then the president of the company needs to come out and say they don’t endorse the report, and distance his company from it.

I’ve asked Alpha spokesman Ted Pile for a comment on the report, but he hasn’t responded.

3 Responses to “Will Alpha CEO Kevin Crutchfield endorse Massey’s ‘natural disaster’ defense in UBB explosion?”

  1. Thomas Rodd says:

    The Massey report is in part, and in effect, a massive “pushback” against the conclusions in the GIIP/McAteer Report. It deserves a close look.

    Will MSHA’s upcoming report address the detailed charges and contentions in the Massey Report? One certainly hopes so, although the legal amifications of a response must be complicated.

    Will the GIIP address the charges in the Massey Report? One certainly hopes that will happen, too, and it might be legally easier.

    Either way, a detailed response to the Massey Report by folks who have good reason to dispute its conclusions is something the public deserves.

  2. Fritz Huge says:

    Actually, if you’ve read the McAteer Report, it does give a close look at the “act of God” theory put forth by Massey.

    The report goes into much detail as to why this theory is highly unlikely.

  3. Betty says:

    Davitt McAteer is the best attorney that coal miners throughout Appalachia could ever hope to have on their side. The lack of rock dust and other simple low cost safety precautions should infuriate the American public, especially the stockholders of Alpha.

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