So long, Don, it’s been God-awful to know you.
Don Blankenship, who was the King of King Coal, is headed toward a place he never imagined he’d end up: federal prison.
The ruthless former CEO of the Massey Energy company arrogantly assumed he was above the law. For years he openly disdained the safety rules of his dangerous industry, willfully violating them in order to increase corporate profits and his own exorbitant executive pay package.
Even when the law caught up with Blankenship, forcing him to resign as Massey’s CEO in 2010, he awarded himself a $12-million golden parachute to cushion his fall.
All of his enrichment, however, was blood money. Literally.
In 2010, Massey Energy’s despicable lack of concern for its mineworkers caused a furious explosion to rip through its Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia. Twenty-nine miners were instantly killed. It was the worst U.S. mine disaster in 40 years, and it was no mere accident.