Coal Tattoo

Lots of folks have been wondering when Massey CEO Don Blankenship would speak publicly about the terrible disaster at his company’s Upper Big Branch Mine in Raleigh county, and my buddy Hoppy Kercheval has talked with Blankenship.

The entire interview is online on the West Virginia MetroNews Web site, and here’s part of what Blankenship had to say:

I mean violations are unfortunately a normal part of the mining process. You have inspections every day and it’s hard to differentiate sometimes between head count or number counts of  violations and the seriousness or type of it.

[Upper Big Branch] was a mine that had violations. I think the fact that MSHA and the state and our firebosses and the best engineers you can find were all in and order this mine and all belive it was safe … speaks for itself.

Any suspicion that the mine was improperly operated or illegally operated or anything like that would be unfounded. None of these groups would have allowed this mine to operate had it been unsafe.