In this ad Senator Manchin says he has seen the investigation reports. But he then says he has never heard that the UBB explosion had anything to do with natural gas. This is interesting because the MSHA report is clear that the explosion began with the ignition of natural gas. How can the Senator remain so unfamiliar with the government’s report on an explosion which the Senator has promised to prevent from ever happening again?

The answer is that Senator Joe Manchin is the epitome of an individual who likes to express his opinion without any basis in fact for that opinion. His expressed positions are not based on science, but rather on what is most politically expedient for him.

Don has known Manchin for many years, and the Senator is an “excellent politician”. That’s why he developed his UBB explosion position – not from science, or sworn testimony, or from personal study, but rather from listening to MSHA heads that needed to defend themselves from the truth and from adversaries of Massey. Those Massey adversaries are Manchin’s political allies.

It’s no surprise that Cecil Roberts (UMWA President), Davitt McAteer (past UMWA member and MSHA chief who is now frequently an expert witness for lawsuit plaintiffs), and Joe Main (then current MSHA Chief and another near lifetime UMWA member) would issue untruthful investigation reports about a Massey mine. The Senator and the liberal press refer to these UMWA lifers as independent and therefore declare their “separate” investigation reports to be “independent”. The fact is that these reports are as far from independent as any reports can possibly be.

But clearly the Senator did not read the reports anyway. It’s also clear that the Senator does not know the difference between methane, natural gas, and coal bed methane. He even acknowledges in the ad that he does not know the facts. Yet, just after this video was filmed he went on national television to proclaim that Don “has blood on his hands”.

The Senator’s statements and his actions demonstrate that preventing another UBB like tragedy is not his objective. This is clear because when he was delivered suggestions for preventing another UBB like tragedy Manchin immediately demanded that Don be indicted. This is hardly the action someone interested in improving miner safety would take. It is an action he took to help hide the UBB truth, promote his political efforts, and in his words “make Don disappear”.

Senator Manchin’s actions are not simply improper, they are cruel to coal miners and they are un-American. His actions have helped prevent any meaningful effort to keep miners safer based on lessons learned at UBB.