Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Behind the West Virginia Mine Tragedy
The tragic death of 25 miners underscores the continual danger involved in coal mining today (4 miners are unaccounted for). However, despite state and Federal mine safety regulations, some coal companies regularly put maximizing profits over the safety of their workers.
While the story is still unfolding, it appears that the mine's owners, Massey Energy Co., has had numerous safety violations and has been fined over the past several years -- nearly $400,000 last year alone. Apparently, the company has actually refused to pay some of the fines. The CEO of Massey Energy is Don "Big Shit" Blankenship, a right-wing corporate thug who has tried in the past to buy a judge on the state court, and weaken mine safety enforcement. It's rumored that Big Shit wants to run as a Rethuglican against Dem. incumbent Rep. Nick Rayhall. Maybe we'll see Big Shit do a political ad from deep inside one of his coal mines, wearing his Stars 'N Stripes outfit and telling us what a good job he did at Massey Energy.
(photo: An actual photo of Big Shit Blankenship at a wingnut "Friends of America" rally which featured Sean "Heil" Hannity and Ted "Numbnuts" Nugent, no doubt telling everyone that the "gummint" is the problem)