Joe Manchin III

A convicted coal executive is still trying to dodge blame for the deaths of 29 miners

A convicted coal executive is still trying to dodge blame for the deaths of 29 miners

In the annals of executive chutzpah, one would be hard-pressed to find a more extreme case than Don Blankenship’s efforts to vindicate himself for his role in a huge mine disaster.

Blankenship was chief executive of Massey Energy on April 5, 2010, when an explosion in its Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia took the lives of 29 men.

Incredibly for an era in which executives skate from blame for their companies’ wrongdoing, and even more amazingly in the coal state of West Virginia, Blankenship was indicted in 2014 for overseeing policies that systematically placed profits ahead of safety. He was convicted by a federal jury in 2015 of a single misdemeanor for conspiring to...

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