When President Obama eulogized the 29 dead miners of the Upper Big Branch Mine explosion this weekend, he noted that no one should “put their lives at risk by simply showing up to work.” Unfortunately, it’s not just miners who fear for their lives while making a paycheck; deaths on the job are unfortunately entirely too common. In its annual report on worker deaths, the AFL-CIO found that 5,214 workers died on the job in 2008. That’s 14 people a day.
|By: Lewis Maltby Tuesday April 20, 2010 3:45 pm|
The Mine Safety & Health Act is not to blame for the 29 deaths at Massey Coal. The real problems are much deeper.
|By: dakine01 Monday April 19, 2010 7:29 pm|
Retired Admiral Inman, Member of Massey Coal Board of Directors, sees no reason to fire Don Blankenship. Open your eyes, Admiral; it’s called “dereliction of duty.”
|By: Bill Egnor Saturday April 17, 2010 12:45 pm|
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: TobyWollin Monday April 12, 2010 8:00 pm|
The good news in the latest episode of “Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution”: 1000 people got taught how to make chicken stir fry in a massive week-long cook-a-thon and flash mob attack (or, at least that’s what I think they called it) AND the big noise at the local radio station is finally on Jamie’s side (the DJ was #1000 in the cooking classes; even the Governor of West Virginia was earlier).
The bad news: FRENCH FRIES ARE STILL CONSIDERED A QUALIFYING VEGETABLE FOR A REIMBURSABLE MEAL. Salad, on the other hand, is ‘optional’. People, we have GOT to do something about school lunch guidelines in this country.
Anyone else? Any good news in your area?
|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 7:20 pm|
The disaster at the Upper Big Branch mine in Coalmont, West Virginia has justifiably brought a lot of attention to the issue of worker safety and the need for strong regulation to protect America’s workers. But this is the kind of story you can write every day in America.