By Chris Hamilton
October 10, 2017 - Below is a letter I have sent to Sen. Lamar Alexander, chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions regarding President Trump’s nomination of West Virginian – and Wheeling resident – David Zatezalo to be the new leader of the Mine Safety and Health Administration under the U.S. Department of Labor. I hope both of West Virginia’s senators – Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito – support to the fullest possible the nomination of a fellow West Virginian to such an important federal position. Mr. Zatezalo is eminently qualified for the position and would be a proud representation of the Mountain State in the Trump administration.
Dear Chairman Alexander:
I'm writing in support of the nomination of David G. Zatezalo, who has been nominated by President Trump to lead the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration under the US Department of Labor. David Zatezalo has demonstrated his competency and overall qualification throughout his 40 years of experience in the coal mining industry. From his earlier days as a UMW member and laborer to his most recent position heading up a major coal company, David has demonstrated his knowledge of mining many times over and when you add his technical training from the nation's leading mine engineering school – West Virginia University -- his experience level is unprecedented and uniquely qualifies him for this position.
As a supervisor and mine manager, David undeniably had the best interest and ensured the utmost safety for every mine worker and all fellow employees. Throughout his four (4) decades of mining, he has additionally acquired expertise in mine emergency, first responder and mine rescue applications and has earned the highest level of respect by his mining peers.
David knows mining. He is extremely competent and extraordinarily suited to lead our nation's coal mine health and safety programs and resources.
As a native West Virginian, he would make all of West Virginia and every miner proud to have him serve in the position of Assistant Secretary for Labor, Mine Safety and Health.
Chris R. Hamilton
Senior Vice President, West Virginia Coal Association
Senior Member, West Virginia Coal Mine Health & Safety Board
Senior Member, West Virginia Mine Safety & Technical Review Committee