It is well known that a terrible explosion in a West Virginia coal mine a couple of days ago has cost at least 25 miners their lives. It is said to be the worst coal mine disaster in 25 years and there are still 4 miners missing.
What is not being reported on, however, is that the Upper Big Branch Mine being run by Massey Energy was cited for 1300 safety violations since 2005, according to a report by Democracy Now. Fifty of those violations are said to be 'unwarrantable failure." They were violations involving life and death failures over ventilation and other issues.
The CEO of Massey Energy, a creep named Don Blankenship, says the violations are just a part of running a mine.
But Jeff Biggers, a journalist covering the Appalachian region rightly sees this excuse as appalling.
"....to say that violations are just a regular occurrence that we should accept. I think what Blankenship is recognizing is that the coal industry, especially companies like Massey, have operated in a continual state of violation and denial, that we've had a century of regulated manslaughter. You know, over 104,000 Americans and immigrants have died in our American mines. And for that to happen in 2010, unnecessarily, is just wrong....."Democracy Now
Biggers also points out that this creep Blankenship and Massey Energy have a horrible history of total disregard for the safety of its workers and their operating communities that extend beyond the 1300 violations.
"....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....."
CEO Blankenship, besides being a creep, is also a great climate change denier. Not only does he use his influence and massive wealth to fight coal mine reforms and destroy the local environment, but he also uses his power to promote the destruction of the global environment by trying to stop climate action.
".....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....."
So CEO Blankenship is a true believer in God. That gives him the right to endanger his workers, endanger coal communities, and endanger the planet to amass his ungodly wealth. He will praise Jesus and live lavishly and comfortably, knowing that the most that is likely to happen to him is that Massey Energy will pay another fine for the deaths of the miners. Just like he had to do in the past.
Blankenship will be protected by purchased politicians and the corporate veil that allows him to continually violate the safety of the workers and the community by paying a fine. This, to Blankenship and other corporate creeps, is just a cost of doing business.
But Blankenship is a corporate criminal that continually violates workers rights and safety and endangers communities. No matter what the government/media complex uncovers or covers up regarding the recent Horrible Massey Energy Mine Disaster, Blankenship should be prosecuted for his flagrant violation of worker and community safety.
Jeff Biggers sums it up this way.
"....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....."
Blankenship and Massey Energy is just a symptom of a terrible disease. The world is sick from a corporate cancer that violates the rights and safety of people and then hides behind money and laws. We need to remove this cancer by changing the laws that protect the CEO criminals hiding behind their lawyers and their puppet politicians.
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