The I Got Nuthin Files: Don Blankenship of Massey Energy

(9AM EST – promoted by Nightprowlkitty)


On April 5, 2010 a mine blast killed 29 miners at Massey Energy’s Upper Big Branch mine – 50 miles from Charleston.  It was the deadliest mine disaster since 1970 and is the subject of criminal and civil investigations.

Don Blankenship – the CEO of Massey – is retiring.  

He is set to receive $12 million as well as $5,000 monthly payments as a consultant to the company.

He will have healthcare for two years.

Investors cheered the retirement.  Now it seems Massey is in a better position to be sold.

“It may increase the chances that Massey could be merged or acquired” said Michael Dudas, an analyst with Jefferies & Company.  “Now they’re moving on with an acquisition.  The stock has reacted very favorably.”  

the above from AP.

Don is not worried about the investigations apparently.  Says Don:

“I pretty well think I know what happened and what the outcome will be, so I’m not concerned anymore about the investigation.  I think its pretty much behind us.”

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. debated Don at the University of West Virginia in January 2010.  Don was totally unprepared.  RFK Jr. was totally prepared with and reeled off fact after fact about declining mining employment in West Virginia, the age of Appalachian ecosystems and the impossibility of recovering them, the number of Clean Water Act violations from Massey, etc.  Every fact was geared toward a plea to West Virginians:  Look, this man is making himself rich by making you poor.  He’s sapping your state of jobs, income, health and a future.  

Don had nothing but “resentment and nativism.”  Over and over his statements mentioned: “rhetoric” and “just false.”  He asked the crowd to dismiss them on crude stereotypes about out-of-state environmentalists, environmentalists are overly emotional – pesky regulations mean we should all learn Chinese.  (from an article by David Roberts (

According to David Roberts:

He still talks like that.  ….stuck to his narrative that global warming is a hoax, hippie environmentalists are strangling free enterprise, out of staters have no right to questions here and China is going to take over. We’re crazy to be worried about pollutants.  We’re in a ruthless global competition for dominance, etc. etc.    

Dear Reader (I love that Victorian trope – bear with me and my literary airs) – “competition” – boy don’t we hear that word often.  Obama uses it quite a bit – and makes most of us feel well (Oh, noes) non-competitive, a definition that can be labelled a quality of dirty hippies.  

I wonder if lawyer fees are a part of the agreement as well.  At any rate — the market has spoken – not ethics, not governmental agencies, not the people of West Virginia – the market – the god of 70 trillion, million yawning mouths:  feed me feed me.

I got nuthin.


    • Diane G on December 10, 2010 at 13:47

    is only a pretty name given the gaping maw of the rich swallowing us whole.

    • Xanthe on December 10, 2010 at 17:14

    as his policy director.  Brett was a lobbyist with Advanced Medical Technical Device Assn.

    Quick – get my broker – let’s buy some medical device stock.

Comments have been disabled.