FOR IMMEDIATE RELASE
December 6th, 2011
Sarah firstname.lastname@example.org 202 548-4589
Sierra Club Statement on the Recent
Developments Regarding the Upper Big Branch Mine Disaster
Today, the US Attorney for the Southern District of West
Virginia and Alpha Natural Resources announced a settlement over the Upper Big
Branch mine disaster. In response, Sierra Club Beyond Coal Campaign
Director Mary Anne Hitt issued the following statement:
"Last April, a devastating and avoidable tragedy took
the lives of twenty-nine miners in southern West Virginia. Our thoughts and
prayers continue to be with the loved ones of those lost. It is easy for the
nation to forget the sacrifices coal miners make every day. Sadly, the miners
at Upper Big Branch paid the ultimate cost for Massey Energy’s* startling negligence.
We must never forget the price they paid, nor can we allow the failures that
cost their lives to go unanswered.
“Today marks another step in the long road to justice for
the families who lost loved ones at Upper Big Branch. The US Attorney’s
settlement with Alpha Natural Resources leaves the door open for criminal
prosecution of those responsible for the deaths of 29 miners. We call on the
Attorney’s office to vigorously investigate and relentlessly prosecute any
former or current Massey executives or employees at fault in this tragedy.
"Later today the Mine Safety and Health Administration
will issue its report on the Upper Big Branch disaster. It is critical that
this investigation not only highlight the total disregard Massey had for the
lives of its workers, but also that it pave the way for stronger safeguards
that protect the lives of miners and prevent another tragedy like this one from
happening again. The Sierra Club hopes MSHA, Governor Tomblin and Senators
Rockefeller and Manchin will work quickly and persistently to ensure the safety
of miners is placed above corporate profit."
Energy was purchased by Alpha Natural Resources in July 2011