House Labor Panel Subpoenas Chao for Mine Documents

The U.S. House Education and Labor Committee issued a subpoena Sept. 24 to U.S. Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, ordering her to produce by Oct. 9 "all documents reflecting communications relating to the Crandall Canyon Mine . . . created, modified, received, or reviewed by the Department" from March 1, 2006, through the date of the subpoena. Also demanded are all documents reflecting communications since Jan. 29, 2001, between the Robert Murray, CEO of Murray Energy Corp. which operates the Crandall Canyon mine, and Chao, DOL's acting deputy secretary, acting solicitor of Labor, or MSHA assistant secretary, or their predecessors in those positions.

The subpoena is signed by Chairman George Miller, D-Calif., and is posted on the committee's Web site. His committee requested the communications in August and issued the subpoena because they were not supplied. The office of Acting Solicitor of Labor Jonathan Snare declined to comment Sept. 26.

The committee (http://edlabor.house.gov/index.shtml) has a hearing scheduled at 10:30 a.m. Eastern on Wednesday, Oct. 3 to discuss the Crandall Canyon disaster, in which six miners and three rescuers died.

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