"We are strictly underground miners," Murray said.
Murray said that protecting the health and safety of his work force "is foremost," and said Murray Energy emphasizes fire protection and emergency preparedness at its operations.
Murray Energy owned the Crandall Canyon Mine in Utah, where a series of collapses in August 2007 killed six miners and three rescue workers.
Last year, Murray Energy's Genwal Resources Inc., which operated Crandall Canyon, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City to two criminal violations of mandatory health and safety standards under the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act. Murray Energy has said the deaths were the result of a "tragic seismic event," and that the violations were not the cause of the collapse.
Murray said he remains concerned about the impacts of Obama's policies on the coal industry. In the central Appalachian region, he said, 43 percent of the industry has been lost "and it will never come back."
"Mr. Obama's actions are a human issue to me," Murray said. "I know the names of those Americans whose jobs and family livelihoods are being destroyed as he appeases his radical environmentalist, unionist, liberal elitist, Hollywood character and other constituencies that got him elected.
"These folks whose lives are being destroyed, ladies and gentlemen, are my employees," he said. "These people who just want to work are denied that, prohibited from working and go to the negative side of the economic ledger for the rest of their lives.
"This is not the America I cherish."
Reach Ken Ward Jr. at kw...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1702.