House panel issues subpoena for Crandall mine documents
By Suzanne Struglinski
Deseret Morning News
Published: September 25, 2007
Meanwhile the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee has a hearing planned for Oct. 2. Chairman Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., also has requested numerous documents from the department. Kennedy, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and other senators wrote Labor Department Inspector General Gordon Heddell last week asking for an expedited review.
During a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee meeting on Sept. 5, Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., said he had not ruled out issuing a subpoena to Murray. As of last week, there had been no movement on that subpoena.
Witness lists for next week's mine hearings have yet to be finalized.
The Labor Department had requested that Miller put off his investigation until MSHA has finished its own look at the accident, but Miller said it was the committee's "responsibility and obligation" to do its own investigation.
"The families of the miners who died and active miners all over the country deserve an objective and independent review of the tragedy that will help us to prevent future tragedies," Miller said.
But Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon, R-Calif., the top Republican on the committee, encouraged Miller to consider MSHA's request, saying that "it serves no one's interest — particularly those of the miners and their families — if our committee engages in any activity charged under the law with this undertaking."
McKeon asked Miller to outline the plans for the investigation, including what it specifically plans to do to "ensure that its activities do not compromise or prejudice MSHA's civil and criminal investigation."