Thursday, April 08, 2010


I was thinking that perhaps that if the USA is going to keep Guantanamo Open, it could send the head of MASSEY ENERGY’S HEAD and HEAD OFFICERS plus board of Directors could and should be sent their for treatment and trial.

I heard and read the following on Don Blankenship and his companies crimes in a report on Democracray Now yesterday. RECALL, that “West Virginia coal mine two days after a huge explosion [had] killed at least twenty-five miners in the worst mining disaster in the United States in more than a quarter-century. According to federal records, MSHA cited the Upper Big Branch mine for more than 1,300 safety violations from 2005 through Monday. Fifty citations came in the last month alone.”

MASSEY ENERGY, headed by a Mr. Blankenship for years, is responsible for this mine crime and murders/homicide/manslaughter, don’t you think?

I would like you to hear Mr. Blankenship speak. [Click on the Link at]

Please note that this is a leader of a company that has killed people and has continued to kill people for far too long. The U.S. and its War on Terror must arrest those terrorizing HOMELAND AMERICA. Don’t you agree!???


DON BLANKENSHIP: I don’t believe climate change is real. I do believe that the Arctic is melting and the Antarctic is getting colder. I believe it’s a normal cycle. This is the first speech in twenty-two years at the Tug Valley Institute that I’ve made in November while it was snowing outside. So it’s not my greatest concern.

Let me be clear about it: Al Gore, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, they don’t know what they’re talking about. They’re totally wrong. What they do is nonsense. And until we begin to call it what it is, people are going to misunderstand, because when we talk about it in more articulate, educated ways, the American public doesn’t get it. Pretty simple, they’re all crazy. I mean, it is absolutely crazy. How can anybody run for office and say they’re going to bankrupt the coal companies and be energy-independent and get elected? I mean, how do you do that? How do you stop us from mining coal while we look for Indiana bats and put up windmills to kill them all? I mean, if they go ahead with the windmills, we wouldn’t have a problem. You know, it is absolutely crazy.

It is a great—it is as great a pleasure to me to be criticized by the communists and the atheists of the Gazette as it is to be applauded by my best friends, because I know that they’re wrong. I mean, when you have an editor that’s, you know, an admitted atheist and when you have people who are clearly of the far-left communist persuasion, would you want them to speak highly of you? You know, it’s really crazy when you look at it—and I reuse that word over and over, because what we’ve got is people cowering away from being criticized by people that are our enemies. I mean, are we going—would we be upset if Osama bin Laden were to be critical of us? I don’t think so.

AMY GOODMAN: That’s Don Blankenship, the CEO of Massey Energy. Jeff Biggers, if you can put this in a bigger context, who Don Blankenship is and the role of Massey Energy today, its power?

JEFF BIGGERS: You know, Amy, just listening to that, it’s quite tragic. And I think this accident, and as our hearts and prayers go out with the coal mining families—and my own grandfather barely survived an explosion in southern Illinois and lived with bits of coal in his face for the rest of his life—you know, here’s one of the highest-paid CEOs in the coal industry who mocks the welfare and the livelihood and the lives of coal miners who have carried the burden of our dirty energy policy for 200 years.

And here’s a man who I believe has a total disregard not only for his coal miners, but for the safeties of communities. You know, two years ago, of course, the Massey Energy Company had to plead guilty to a criminal charge of a fire in 2006 at the Aracoma mine that killed two people. And then, just recently, they’ve had to pay some of the largest civil fines ever for their reckless mountaintop removal operations.

You know, here’s a man who’s laughing at this situation, who now wants to propose blasting on Coal River Mountain, for example, within a football field of the largest coal slurry impoundment in the hemisphere, that if it would break, this earthen dam, as you showed many times on your program, you know, the whole communities of the people in the Coal River Valley, over a thousand people, would have less than four minutes to flee a seventy-foot tidal wave of toxic coal sludge.

You know, unfortunately, Amy, we’re in a situation where, nationwide, we’re not taking the staggering human and environmental and healthcare crisis of the coal industry seriously enough until we have these disasters. It’s almost as if a crisis is never a crisis until we have these tragic disasters. And it just shouldn’t be that way. We should be clamping down and making sure that people like Don Blankenship are truly regulated, if not put out of business.

AMY GOODMAN: Actually, you say it more strongly in the piece you wrote, “What Killed the Miners? Profits over Safety?” You say, “Over 104,000 Americans and immigrants have died in our coal mines. According to one inspector, many, if not a majority of those ‘accidents’ should not be considered mishaps, but acts of negligent homicide.” Do you think that Don Blankenship should be charged with negligent homicide?

JEFF BIGGERS: You know, I still am not sure we can comment on the details of this mine until we have the investigation to find out truly what happened. But I think it’s important now that we start to broach the issue of manslaughter, that if we have a company that willingly operates in a continual state of violations—and not simply toilet paper violations, we’re talking about fifty violations in that mine were called unwarrantable failure, meaning these are life-and-death situations of ventilation, for example, which leads to methane gas. And, of course, the methane gas buildup is nothing new. We’ve dealt with this for centuries. So if we have a company that willingly, openly, admittedly operates in this state of violence and in violation to risk the lives of coal miners, I think it’s very important we start to bring up the issue: is this a matter of regulated manslaughter? Do we really need to discuss it in these terms? You know, and I think, obviously, we have to wait for the investigation to come through, but I think we really need to have a serious discussion about some of the dirtiest aspects and the human lives that are lost through this kind of reckless coal mining.

AMY GOODMAN: Also interesting to note Don Blankenship’s power as CEO of Massey. He shelled out more than $3 million of his own money in ads to help defeat a West Virginia state Supreme Court justice, who had—he had expected the justice to rule against Massey in an appeal of a $50 million award for a small coal company owner who convinced a jury that Massey had driven his company into bankruptcy. The new judge cast the deciding vote against the $50 million award. The US Supreme Court later ruled that the new judge should have recused himself. And also as the director of the US Chamber of Commerce, Blankenship has helped buttress the Chamber’s tough position against any kind of climate change legislation, despite the fact that many other corporate members have supported that legislation. Quick comment, Jeff Biggers.

JEFF BIGGERS: Exactly. I think it really represents that we’re living in an era now still of an incredible dirty process of the coal industry, that they’ll go to whatever cost, being it buying off judges, paying off, you know, the lobbyists. They spent over $120 million, the coal industry has, in this last year just in lobby money alone, in terms of Washington, DC. And I think that’s what we’re faced with right now, is a real crisis in our energy policy and a real crisis of denial.

You know, I think one thing I really wanted to point out, Amy, is that, you know, three miners still die daily from black lung disease. You know, over a thousand coal miners every year. And that is still something we’re not even grappling with. And that’s, once again, the tip of the iceberg of this incredible human loss of lives that we’re having in the coal industry today.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Massey Disaster Not Just Tragic, but Criminal

Massey Energy runs the Upper Big Branch (UBB) mine in Montcoal, W.Va., where 29 miners were killed last week. The loss of life is tragic, but the UBB explosion is more than tragic; it is criminal. When corporations are guilty of crimes, however, they don’t go to prison, they don’t forfeit their freedom—they just get fined, which often amounts to a slap on the wrist, the cost of doing business. No one makes this clearer than the CEO of Massey Energy, Don Blankenship.

Listen to Amy Goodman’s Podcast on this topic at:

9:37 PM  

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