In the late afternoon of April 5th of this year, an explosion ripped through the Upper Big Branch Coal mine. It killed 29 of the 200 or so miners that were working underground that day. Mining is a dangerous business, especially coal mining where the material you are mining is the same material that holds up the roof. There is also the added problem that coal is carbon, and where there are large amounts of carbon there will be volatile hydrocarbons, specifically methane. A methane and or coal dust ignition is the likely cause of the explosion at the Upper Big Branch Mine.
|By: Jason Rosenbaum Friday April 16, 2010 4:28 pm|
Don Blankenship, owner of what almost amounts to a company that regularly commits serial murder, Massey Energy, is also on the board of the Chamber of Commerce. In that position, he gets to determine how the Chamber spends its money. One of the things the Chamber spends it on is buying judges. So how compromised are the other judges who signed the amicus brief with Robert Young, a brief that directly benefited Blankenship’s company, Massey Energy?
|By: Michael Whitney Monday April 12, 2010 7:15 pm|
S&P curiously upgraded Massey Energy stock from a “hold” to “buy” this morning, and without unquestioningly reported that Massey would be shielded from lawsuits and had plans to make up for the lost coal. Turns out that Massey filed a shareholder statement with the SEC on Thursday .
In the statement, Massey assures its shareholders that its insurance will cover any lawsuits from the mine explosion, and accuses the media of exaggerating its poor safety record.
|By: Michael Whitney Monday April 12, 2010 4:12 pm|
This morning’s news from the S&P stock exchange should be music to Don Blankenship’s ears. Massey’s stock has been upgraded to a “buy” because the accident should be “immaterial” to Massey’s finances. This is the bet that Blankenship made with the lives of 29 miners: that he could risk their lives without risking his profits. Richard Trumka called this disaster “the inevitable result of a profit-driven system and reckless corporate conduct.” He couldn’t be more correct. And Don Blankenship couldn’t care less.
|By: Jason Rosenbaum Monday April 12, 2010 2:35 pm|
Don Blankenship is the head of Massey Energy, the company that runs the Upper Big Branch Mine which just had a horrific “accident” that left 29 dead. Massey’s conduct under Blankenship has been negligent enough to approach criminality, calling into question how much of an “accident” this was — especially since Blankenship and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Chamber and Don Blankenship spent millions to elect judges and get favorable rulings and briefs. This combined effort affects 2010 judicial elections, including the state supreme court in Michigan.
|By: David Dayen Thursday April 8, 2010 5:55 pm|
President Obama just released a statement showing an extreme attentiveness to the Massey Energy mining disaster in Coalmont, West Virginia. He has called for an initial assessment report from federal mine safety officials next week, as well as action items for how to prevent accidents like the one that caused the greatest loss of life in over 25 years.
There’s a very simple way to make mining safer – put Don Blankenship and Massey Energy out of business.
|By: Michael Whitney Tuesday April 6, 2010 2:02 pm|
Don Blankenship is CEO of Massey Energy, the owner of the Upper Big Branch mine that exploded yesterday, killing at least 25 miners with four still missing in the mine. Blankenship is well known as a right-wing crackpot and global warming denier, but I want to paint just a brief picture with regard to this disaster
|By: David Dayen Tuesday April 6, 2010 6:55 am|
Overnight, the explosion at the Massey Energy mine in Raleigh County, West Virginia has gone from six dead to 25 dead, making it the worst mining disaster in over two decades. With only 200 employees, one out of every eight working at the site died in the explosion. And more are feared dead.