November 15, 2017


Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) today issued a statement on voting against confirming the nomination of David Zatezalo to lead the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA).

“Too many families in our state have lost loved ones serving our nation in the mines and we are too familiar with the painful human toll of mining accidents. Since the beginning of 2017, 14 miners have lost their lives – 7 of those miners were West Virginians. That is why for West Virginians, strong leadership at MSHA is non-negotiable. These devastating losses demonstrate the ongoing need for strong and experienced leadership at MSHA, as well as comprehensive funding for MSHA’s programs.

“After reviewing Mr. Zatezalo’s qualifications and record of safety during his time in the coal industry, I am not convinced that Mr. Zatezalo is suited to oversee the federal agency that implements and enforces mine safety laws and standards and that is why I voted against Mr. Zatezalo’s confirmation to lead MSHA. Although I did not support his nomination I will strive to work with him to make sure that MSHA protects our miners so they come home safely every night.”