Subcommittee members, as well as Utah's U.S. Sens. Orrin Hatch and Bob Bennett, asked MSHA head Richard Stickler for details on what happened in the mine, what can be done in the future to avoid other accidents and how MSHA should handle accidents in the future.Next, the Salt Lake Tribune.
"What the hell is the problem at MSHA?" Byrd asked rhetorically, as several audience members erupted in applause.Guess which one has ex. Utah State Party Chair Joe Cannon as their editor-in-chief. And guess which one is still angling for that Attorney General job?
"It is past time - way past time to take the gloves off," Byrd told Stickler, advising him to "crack some heads" at the agency to make improvements.
Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, stood up for the embattled witness.
"It's always easier after the fact to come in and find fault," Hatch added. He later told reporters that MSHA did the best it could with the knowledge it had and it is "pretty tough" to have the foresight to see a bump would occur.
Sen. Bob Bennett, R-Utah, asked Stickler why rescue operations weren't halted earlier as Bennett had been told was the case. "It was with great feeling in the pit of my stomach to hear that rescue operations had begun again and three rescue workers were killed," Bennett said. Stickler said the experts thought it was safe for rescuers to re-enter the mine.