From the Huffington Post:
The White House announced Saturday that Trump would be nominating David Zatezalo to run the Mine Safety and Health Administration. Zatezalo was previously the CEO of Rhino Resources, a Kentucky-based coal company.
Zatezalo grew up in Weirton and currently lives in Wheeling; Managing Editor John McCabe interviewed him Sunday at his Wheeling home. The resulting front page story in today's Wheeling Intelligencer is all positive. In particular, while the story mentions that Zatezalo was CEO of Rhino Resources, McCabe 's article says nothing about the company's safety violations while he was in charge.
Zatezalo's safety record
That safety record is mentioned in all of the other news stories that I found including the AP's. Most of those reports reference Ken Ward's excellent piece on Zatezalo in yesterday's Charleston Gazette-Mail. Ward writes:
At the Rhino Eastern Eagle No. 1 Mine near Bolt, in Raleigh County, MSHA, in November 2010, issued a "pattern of violations" warning letter that cited repeated violations and cautioned the agency was preparing tougher enforcement actions. The pattern of violations program was a long-unused MSHA tool for cracking down on repeat violators of safety and health standards, and Main, a former UMW safety director, was trying to begin using it to avoid a repeat of what happened at Upper Big Branch.
After the 2010 warning letter, Rhino improved, and MSHA backed off. But the company's safety performance quickly deteriorated again, prompting a second pattern of violations letter in August 2011.
Between those two warning letters, crew leader Joseph Cassell was killed at the Eagle No. 1 Mine when rock and coal from a portion of a mine wall collapsed onto him in June 2011.
At another Rhino mine in Kentucky, earlier in 2011, MSHA had taken the unusual action of seeking a federal court injunction against the company when it discovered mine employees giving advance notice of an agency inspection to miners working underground.
(There's more in the article.)
Yes, this former CEO of Rhino Resources will now head MSHA and be in charge of mine safety.