Blankenship Convicted

Bacon’s Rebellion readers will remember that former long-time contributor Peter Galuszka devoted much of his time and energy to chronicling the activities of former coal mogul Donald L. Blankenship. Although Blankenship was better known in West Virginia where he lived and worked, he had a Virginia connection as CEO for many years of Richmond-headquartered Massey Energy. Blankenship made national headlines in 2010 when the Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia erupted in an explosion that killed 29 miners.

After a trial yesterday in U.S. District Court in Charleston, W.Va., Blankenship, whom Peter colorfully describes as the “Dark Lord of the Coalfields,” was found guilty of a misdemeanor for conspiring to evade federal mine safety laws. He was acquitted on two counts of making false statements.

You can read Peter’s take on the trial in Slate.

Also, check out the video excerpt above from “Blood on the Mountain,” a documentary about the Upper Big Branch disaster. Peter, author of “Thunder on the Mountain: Death at Massey and the Dirty Secrets Behind Big Coal,” is interviewed around the 3:30 minute mark.

— JAB

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2 responses to “Blankenship Convicted

  1. If they would only do this to healthcare executives, this would be great. You’d see problems in health care go down and the rates of problems go up because the gag orders and “deny and defend” could get them.

  2. geeze – and here I thought this was a trial about how 29 people lost their lives through malfeasance and wanton neglect of standard safety practices.

    stupid me!

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