The fire prevention programs of Murray Energy are unique in the coal industry. Extensive fire fighting training, fire brigades, and equipment, none of which is required by MSHA, have been implemented to prevent mine fires. Mr. Murray himself initiated this program, having been caught in two such circumstances in his career.
We are proud to say that Murray Energy Corporation has been a careful steward of the environment. Contrary to Mr. Ward's baseless accusations, comprehensive studies have shown that there has been no permanent adverse effect on Captina Creek in Ohio over the nearly fifty years that the coal mines have been operated adjacent to it. Indeed, Mr. Murray built what is now the Powhatan No. 6 Mine of The Ohio Valley Coal Company between 1969 and 1971, and the exemplary condition of Captina Creek, designated as "pristine" by regulators, is testament to the fine work of Murray Energy and our employees over the years.
Your allegation of "criminal violations that could cost the Company $7 million" is very misleading. Yes, a slurry pipeline undetectably scoured through from the inside and leaked. But, $6 million of this amount was for the replacement of the pipeline, putting the new one inside another pipe that is kept under pressure. Murray Energy voluntarily performed this construction without any direction from anyone, including any government, to assure that such an accident could not happen again.
There have been repeated attempts by the radical liberal elitists to silence Mr. Murray from speaking out against President Obama's war on coal and others who have been destroying coal mining jobs in our region. Mr. Ward and The Charleston Gazette have aided and abetted these radicals and bolstered their extremist job-killing positions.
Over the past twenty-five years, Mr. Murray is proud to say that he has provided the offer to work, and retire, to over 1,270 United Mine Workers of America -- represented coal miners from The Ohio Valley Coal Company's Powhatan No. 6 Mine, an operation that was being closed when Mr. Murray bought it on May 25, 1988. Further, Mr. Murray is especially proud that he still has, notwithstanding the destruction caused by President Barack Obama, over 3,200 coal miners and families working at our mines. All of these jobs were created "from scratch" by Mr. Murray from a mortgaged home and with much support from lenders, customers, employees, sureties, and some regulators. Your erroneous statements could destroy these essential relationships, but our supporters know that your reporting is not credible.
It is time for your newspaper to stop the demonizing of responsible and innocent job creators and to disassociate yourself from Mr. Kenneth W. Ward, Jr. Most especially, you need to start showing respect for those, such as Mr. Robert E. Murray, who have done, and are doing, so much to maintain our coal industry and the economy of our region.
Senior Management Employees of Murray Energy Corporation and Subsidiary Companies