The "Domineering," "Bombastic" Mine Owner That Doesn't Believe in Global Warming

The Times uses name-calling on Robert Murray, owner of the Utah mine that collapsed - and drags in his disbelief in global warming dogma.

Robert Murray is evidently not one of the Times' favorite people. Murray is co-owner of the coal mine in Utah that collapsed, leaving six miners presumed dead (three rescue workers died in a rescue attempt). Friday's piece by Susan Saulny and Carolyn Marshall, "Mine Owner Has History of Run-Ins On Work Issues," dragged in Murray's disbelief in global warming dogma into its story on the mine collapse.

"If Robert E. Murray accepts a Senate subcommittee's invitation to testify next month about what went wrong at the Crandall Canyon Mine, he is likely to be questioned about, among other things, adopting a new and riskier mining plan when his company took over the operation last year.

"If Mr. Murray hews to the always impassioned - at times, bombastic - style he has shown in news conferences since the mine's collapse on Aug. 6, senators can expect his statements to be plain-spoken and provocative.

The Times treated the theory of anthropogenic global warming as settled fact.

"It is not the first time that Mr. Murray, 67, has taken a position far afield of the experts. Although most other industry executives have recognized the threat of climate change and the need for energy conservation, he has been among the few to question the concept of global warming and to openly criticize environmental regulations.

"In testimony last March at a hearing on clean energy, Mr. Murray told a House subcommittee that federal lands should be preserved, but also 'prudently developed' to provide jobs.

"In every reference to climate change, he used the term 'so-called global warming.' The debate, he said, 'has been skewed and totally one-sided' because the news media, Congress and pundits have been 'preoccupied with possible, speculative environmental disasters.'

"In 2001, a jury acquitted Mr. Murray of charges that he had assaulted an environmentalist."

On the same page Friday, a story by Cara Buckley and Dan Frosch piled on more unflattering terms for mine owner Murray while faulting his co-owner, Richard Stickler, for not standing up to the bully in "Mine Safety Leader Loses Some Respect For Actions in Utah."

"It was a telling moment one day last week in what had become a regular sideshow at the foot of a mountain here, where six coal miners were swallowed whole.

"The mine's blustering and domineering co-owner, Robert E. Murray, was holding forth in front of a bank of microphones, predicting when the trapped miners would be found, a forecast that has not come true. The man charged with running the government's rescue effort, Richard E. Stickler, the head of the federal mining agency, who had been standing off to the side, shook his head and walked away."