This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2007, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Posted: 10:59 AM- WASHINGTON -- The president of the Utah mine where six miners are missing has been vocal against more regulation of the coal industry, even going as far as to call Sen. Hillary Clinton "anti-American" for suggesting the nation needed a president who is for workers' safety.
During an interview with Fox News' Neil Cavuto in May, Robert Murray responded to a comment from Clinton, who asked a crowd whether they were ready for a president who is "pro-labor and will appoint people who actually care about workers' rights and workers' safety."
"Bob, do you view this rhetoric as pro-labor, anti-business, what?" Cavuto asked Murray.
"Absolutely not," Murray responded. "I view it as anti-American. These people should -- are misleading the American worker then they talk about jobs. These are the people advocating draconian global warming conditions that are going to drive American jobs to foreign countries and raise electric rates for everybody on fixed incomes."
Murray continued that he found it contradictory that union people are supporting Democratic candidates "who are advocating environmental and other regulations that will actually drive jobs out of this country. And the American people should not be bamboozled by this."
Murray also testified before Congress two months ago that his safety record with all of his mines "is one of the best in the coal industry anywhere."
In a testy exchange with Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., Murray said a story reporting two of his Ohio mines showed injury rates a fourth higher than the national average was "propaganda" by a mine union.
"You are flat out wrong," Murray told Boxer when she raised the story in the Columbus Dispatch saying Murray's mines have the biggest fines against him versus any other mine in Ohio.
The Mine Safety and Health Administration has cited Murray's mine in central Utah with more than 300 violations since January 2004, including 118 "significant and substantial" violations that are considered serious enough to cause injury or death.
Murray, who testified against regulation of the energy industry as part of effort to combat global warming, said the changes to the coal industry would cause losses of high-paying mining jobs and would be "extremely destructive" to the nation.