Other Massey mines cited for ventilat...

Other Massey mines cited for ventilation problems

There are 4051 comments on the www.wvgazette.com story from Apr 12, 2010, titled Other Massey mines cited for ventilation problems. In it, www.wvgazette.com reports that:

"It doesn't matter whether you had more or less violations than the average mine," Oppegard said Monday. "This mine blew up. Mines don't blow up unless there were violations. This wasn't an act of God."

Join the discussion below, or Read more at www.wvgazette.com.

Bobby Tilton Rev

United States

#21 Apr 16, 2010
ICKIE defends the big criminals but loves to go after small time punks.

Nice fraud ICKIE.
Former MEE Employee

Baltimore, MD

#22 Apr 16, 2010
I worked in MEE office in Richmond for years until recently. Let me just say that I'm glad to be done with that place. While it met my needs to support my family for years, I was way past due in getting out. The morale there was bad before this accident. Don B made the trip to Richmond occasionally and when he did you could just sense the tension. I personally never had any dealings with him but I've talked with people about their experiences. He is indeed a bully. He will degrade you in a heartbeat. This is particularly evident if you've ever attended their quarterly operator meetings. He will publicly call you out in front of your peers. In the field, people truly fear this guy. He micro-manages all operations in the field and demands coal production reports frequently during the day from all operations. He's a big time numbers guy who constantly strives to lower his cost per ton ratio. The 10% pay cut that made the news last May was only a partial truth. The whole truth is that all employees making over 60K yr took a 10% pay cut. Others were cut 6%. The way Massey reported this cut made it seem like only Don and other executives were affected. Initially, all employees were cut %10 but I know of a couple of people in Richmond who complained so bad even to the point of tears that the policy was changed to 6% for those under 60K. I heard recently from someone I know there that they are selectively restoring pay to those they deem essential to business. I'm sure that will go over well to those who aren't restored.

It's terrible what happened in WV last week. Unfortunately, all of the negativity bodes badly for the company. I don't say that because I worry about the company. I am simply concerned for those who work there trying to provide for their families. From the upper management standpoint, my opinion is that most of them are not the type of people I would ever consider a friend or one who genuinely cares about me or my family. Most of them have "Chief" included in their title. Please understand that I'm being very nice in my description of them. I'd rather not put in print what I really think. Best to all the underlings at Massey. Hope that soon you'll be rid of the "choose a description" that run the place. Massey and it's good people deserve better.
crazy

Beckley, WV

#23 Apr 16, 2010
sorry i dont post links all day about stuff i have no idea about.
Ex Massey Worker

Waldorf, MD

#24 Apr 17, 2010
-Seeker- wrote:
<quoted text>
You know Ralph, if he's not forced to resign or fired, then there is just no justice in this world. Everything cannot be laid at Blankenships door, I know, but the bulk of it can and until this greedy bully is taken out of the equation, no one will feel safe to talk, complain or open up about what's really going on in his operations. Its going to be interesting to see who wins this one, money or justice. Don't you agree?
Have you ever seen justice win over money yet?
Moon Willow

Beckley, WV

#25 Apr 17, 2010
I heard the miners weren't wearing their meters on the day of the blast.
massey miner

Beckley, WV

#26 Apr 18, 2010
Short cuts for production of coal. Get the coal out, Make Don some money, thats what Massey is all about. Him and few of the other big wigs. surface or underground, the message is the same, get it as fast and as cheap as possible.
Cookie Parker

Fishers, IN

#27 Apr 20, 2010
informed citizen wrote:
Wouldn't that have been a balanced report if the writer had included other owners and cited whether or not they had ventilation problems.
Did Patriot Coal Federal Number 2 have ventilation problems? Did it have methane problems? Do you know anything about Patriot Federal No. 2?
Have you read this book? I haven't but it infers that mine ventilation is a pretty complex issue.
http://www.ifac-papersonline.net/Detailed/317...
In order to save on costs, modern mining operations constantly strive toward optimizing the operating efficiency of their ventilation systems. Typical mine ventilation systems are represented by complex networks of hundreds of airways; the optimization of such complex 3-dimensional networks can only be studied using computer models. This paper presents an overview of mathematical models and techniques used in computer programming and of ventilation network models currently used in industry. The complex procedures used to develop, calibrate, refine and validate the ventilation network for a mine are also introduced. Limitations of ventilation computer modeling that must be taken into consideration when making engineering decisions and establishing multi-million dollar implementation programs for a mine ventilation system are discussed.
No, this pretty much has nothing to do wwith Don's record of serious mine violations and intimidating his non-union miners to wrk or get fired...just like he did when he told them if they attended the funeral of the 29 dead, they'd be fired.
Cookie Parker

Fishers, IN

#28 Apr 20, 2010
informed citizen wrote:
<quoted text>
He might as well resign, he's already been found guilty. The president even says so...along with the rest of the mining industry (although union mines will probably get an exemption)
Without knowing the facts, obama advises caution against jumping to conclusions when a Muslim terroist solider opens fire and slaugthers other soldiers.
Without knowing the facts, obama declares the police acted stupidly when doing their job on a call concerning a possible break-in
Without knowing the facts, obama declares the coal industry and especially Massey "guilty" without bothering to get more information and putting any responsibility on MSHA, the federal agency responsible for overseeing operations and enforcing the laws at hand to close down mines if they posed dangers to miners.
I wouldn't worry about union mines, though. But if you work for a non-union mine - I'd be saving my money.
"Obama said he would give the Department of Justice "every tool" necessary to hold Massey "accountable" for the "decisions they made and preventative measures they failed to take."
Damn straight he's guilty to all but you who work for him in corporate capacity. He's got himself a history..and threaetning those boys who did survive that if they attended the funerals of these miners they'd be fired pretty much seasl his long history of profit over safety...and money over miner lives.

“Don't Start Rumors!”

Since: Oct 09

Location hidden

#29 Apr 20, 2010
Cookie Parker wrote:
<quoted text>
Damn straight he's guilty to all but you who work for him in corporate capacity. He's got himself a history..and threaetning those boys who did survive that if they attended the funerals of these miners they'd be fired pretty much seasl his long history of profit over safety...and money over miner lives.
Where does this information come from.If that is actually true,its a wonder he himself hasn't come up missing.Can't believe any miner would want to work for someone who could dictate something like that.
informed citizen

Oak Hill, WV

#30 Apr 20, 2010
DrMUDD wrote:
<quoted text>Where does this information come from.If that is actually true,its a wonder he himself hasn't come up missing.Can't believe any miner would want to work for someone who could dictate something like that.
Came from World Socialist Workers Website article
informed citizen

Oak Hill, WV

#31 Apr 20, 2010
PS - from unnamed workers (always a great way to get out information without providing proof)
Cookie Parker

Fishers, IN

#32 Apr 20, 2010
DrMUDD wrote:
<quoted text>Where does this information come from.If that is actually true,its a wonder he himself hasn't come up missing.Can't believe any miner would want to work for someone who could dictate something like that.
http://thinkprogress.org/2010/04/07/coal-pays...

Blankenship was abetted by former employees placed at the highest levels of the federal mine safety system. Massey COO Stanley Suboleski was named a commissioner of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission in 2003 and was nominated in December 2007 to run the Energy Department’s Office of Fossil Energy. Suboleski is now back on the Massey board. After being rejected twice by the Senate, one-time Massey executive Dick Stickler was put in charge of the MSHA in a recess appointment in October 2006. In the 1990s, Stickler oversaw Massey subsidiary Performance Coal, the operator of the deadly Upper Big Branch Mine, after managing Beth Energy mines, which “incurred injury rates double the national average.” Bush named Stickler acting secretary when the recess appointment expired in January 2008.

Below are further details of these two past incidents that foretold Blankenship’s latest disaster:

THE FATAL ARACOMA MINE FIRE
Blankenship Branded Deadly Fire At Dangerous Aracoma Mine “Statistically Insignificant.” In the most egregious case of preventable death before the Upper Big Branch explosion, Massey’s Aracoma Coal Co. agreed to “plead guilty to 10 criminal charges, including one felony, and pay $2.5 million in criminal fines” after two workers died in a fire at the Aracoma Alma No. 1 Mine in Melville, West Virginia. Massey also paid $1.7 million in civil fines. The mine “had 25 violations of mandatory health and safety laws” before the fire on January 19, 2006, but Massey CEO Don Blankenship passed the deaths off as “statistically insignificant.”[Logan Banner, 9/1/06; Charleston Gazette, 12/24/08]

Federal Mine Inspector Who Wanted To Shut Down Mine Told To “Back Off.” Days before fire broke out in the Aracoma mine, a federal mine inspector tried to close down that section of the mine, but “was told by his superior to back off and let them run coal, that there was too much demand for coal.” Massey failed to notify authorities of the fire until two hours after the disaster.[Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 4/23/06]

Blankenship Memo:“Coal Pays the Bills.” Three months before the Aracoma mine fire, Massey CEO Don Blankenship sent managers a memo saying,“If any of you have been asked by your group presidents, your supervisors, engineers or anyone else to do anything other than run coal ... you need to ignore them and run coal. This memo is necessary only because we seem not to understand that the coal pays the bills.”[Logan Banner, 9/1/06]

THE MARTIN COUNTY COAL-SLURRY DISASTER
Three Times the Volume of the Exxon Valdez Spill. Massey Energy is the parent of Martin County Coal, responsible for the “nation’s largest man-made environmental disaster east of the Mississippi” until the 2008 Tennesee coal-ash spill In October 2000, a coal slurry impoundment broke through an underground mine shaft and spilled over 300 million gallons of black, toxic sludge into the headwaters of Coldwater Creek and Wolf Creek,” in Martin County, KY.[Lost Mountain, p. 128]

Site Denied Superfund Status. Bush’s Environmental Protection Agency “determined that the slurry spill was not a release of a hazardous substance” and thus ineligible for Superfund status.[KY EQC]

Sen. McConnell and Wife Stopped MSHA Investigation. U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao, wife of Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), oversaw the Mine Safety and Health Administration. Chao “put on the brakes” on the MSHA investigation into the spill by placing a McConnell staffer in charge. In 2002 a $5,600 fine was levied. That September Massey gave $100,000 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee, chaired by McConnell.[Lexington Herald-Leader, 10/2/06, OpenSecrets
Cookie Parker

Fishers, IN

#33 Apr 20, 2010
informed citizen wrote:
<quoted text>
Came from World Socialist Workers Website article
Really? Show me THAT link, you Blankenship employee.
Cookie Parker

Fishers, IN

#34 Apr 20, 2010
DrMUDD wrote:
<quoted text>Where does this information come from.If that is actually true,its a wonder he himself hasn't come up missing.Can't believe any miner would want to work for someone who could dictate something like that.
Blankenship was abetted by former employees placed at the highest levels of the federal mine safety system. Massey COO Stanley Suboleski was named a commissioner of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission in 2003 and was nominated in December 2007 to run the Energy Department’s Office of Fossil Energy. Suboleski is now back on the Massey board. After being rejected twice by the Senate, one-time Massey executive Dick Stickler was put in charge of the MSHA in a recess appointment in October 2006. In the 1990s, Stickler oversaw Massey subsidiary Performance Coal, the operator of the deadly Upper Big Branch Mine, after managing Beth Energy mines, which “incurred injury rates double the national average.” Bush named Stickler acting secretary when the recess appointment expired in January 2008.

Below are further details of these two past incidents that foretold Blankenship’s latest disaster:

THE FATAL ARACOMA MINE FIRE
Blankenship Branded Deadly Fire At Dangerous Aracoma Mine “Statistically Insignificant.” In the most egregious case of preventable death before the Upper Big Branch explosion, Massey’s Aracoma Coal Co. agreed to “plead guilty to 10 criminal charges, including one felony, and pay $2.5 million in criminal fines” after two workers died in a fire at the Aracoma Alma No. 1 Mine in Melville, West Virginia. Massey also paid $1.7 million in civil fines. The mine “had 25 violations of mandatory health and safety laws” before the fire on January 19, 2006, but Massey CEO Don Blankenship passed the deaths off as “statistically insignificant.”[Logan Banner, 9/1/06; Charleston Gazette, 12/24/08]

Federal Mine Inspector Who Wanted To Shut Down Mine Told To “Back Off.” Days before fire broke out in the Aracoma mine, a federal mine inspector tried to close down that section of the mine, but “was told by his superior to back off and let them run coal, that there was too much demand for coal.” Massey failed to notify authorities of the fire until two hours after the disaster.[Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 4/23/06]

Blankenship Memo:“Coal Pays the Bills.” Three months before the Aracoma mine fire, Massey CEO Don Blankenship sent managers a memo saying,“If any of you have been asked by your group presidents, your supervisors, engineers or anyone else to do anything other than run coal ... you need to ignore them and run coal. This memo is necessary only because we seem not to understand that the coal pays the bills.”[Logan Banner, 9/1/06]

THE MARTIN COUNTY COAL-SLURRY DISASTER
Three Times the Volume of the Exxon Valdez Spill. Massey Energy is the parent of Martin County Coal, responsible for the “nation’s largest man-made environmental disaster east of the Mississippi” until the 2008 Tennesee coal-ash spill In October 2000, a coal slurry impoundment broke through an underground mine shaft and spilled over 300 million gallons of black, toxic sludge into the headwaters of Coldwater Creek and Wolf Creek,” in Martin County, KY.[Lost Mountain, p. 128]

Site Denied Superfund Status. Bush’s Environmental Protection Agency “determined that the slurry spill was not a release of a hazardous substance” and thus ineligible for Superfund status.[KY EQC]

Sen. McConnell and Wife Stopped MSHA Investigation. U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao, wife of Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), oversaw the Mine Safety and Health Administration. Chao “put on the brakes” on the MSHA investigation into the spill by placing a McConnell staffer in charge. In 2002 a $5,600 fine was levied. That September Massey gave $100,000 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee, chaired by McConnell.[Lexington Herald-Leader, 10/2/06, OpenSecrets]

$2.4 Billion Becomes $20 Million. In May 2007 thes
Cookie Parker

Fishers, IN

#35 Apr 20, 2010
THE FATAL ARACOMA MINE FIRE
Blankenship Branded Deadly Fire At Dangerous Aracoma Mine “Statistically Insignificant.” In the most egregious case of preventable death before the Upper Big Branch explosion, Massey’s Aracoma Coal Co. agreed to “plead guilty to 10 criminal charges, including one felony, and pay $2.5 million in criminal fines” after two workers died in a fire at the Aracoma Alma No. 1 Mine in Melville, West Virginia. Massey also paid $1.7 million in civil fines. The mine “had 25 violations of mandatory health and safety laws” before the fire on January 19, 2006, but Massey CEO Don Blankenship passed the deaths off as “statistically insignificant.”[Logan Banner, 9/1/06; Charleston Gazette, 12/24/08]

Federal Mine Inspector Who Wanted To Shut Down Mine Told To “Back Off.” Days before fire broke out in the Aracoma mine, a federal mine inspector tried to close down that section of the mine, but “was told by his superior to back off and let them run coal, that there was too much demand for coal.” Massey failed to notify authorities of the fire until two hours after the disaster.[Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 4/23/06]

Blankenship Memo:“Coal Pays the Bills.” Three months before the Aracoma mine fire, Massey CEO Don Blankenship sent managers a memo saying,“If any of you have been asked by your group presidents, your supervisors, engineers or anyone else to do anything other than run coal ... you need to ignore them and run coal. This memo is necessary only because we seem not to understand that the coal pays the bills.”[Logan Banner, 9/1/06]

THE MARTIN COUNTY COAL-SLURRY DISASTER
Three Times the Volume of the Exxon Valdez Spill. Massey Energy is the parent of Martin County Coal, responsible for the “nation’s largest man-made environmental disaster east of the Mississippi” until the 2008 Tennesee coal-ash spill In October 2000, a coal slurry impoundment broke through an underground mine shaft and spilled over 300 million gallons of black, toxic sludge into the headwaters of Coldwater Creek and Wolf Creek,” in Martin County, KY.[Lost Mountain, p. 128]

Site Denied Superfund Status. Bush’s Environmental Protection Agency “determined that the slurry spill was not a release of a hazardous substance” and thus ineligible for Superfund status.[KY EQC]

Sen. McConnell and Wife Stopped MSHA Investigation. U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao, wife of Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), oversaw the Mine Safety and Health Administration. Chao “put on the brakes” on the MSHA investigation into the spill by placing a McConnell staffer in charge. In 2002 a $5,600 fine was levied. That September Massey gave $100,000 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee, chaired by McConnell.[Lexington Herald-Leader, 10/2/06, OpenSecrets]

$2.4 Billion Becomes $20 Million. In May 2007 the EPA filed suit for $2.4 billion against Massey for violating “Clean Water Act more than 4,500 times from the beginning of 2000 to the end of 2006&#8243; in West Virginia and Kentucky, including the Martin County spill. In January 2008 Massey agreed to pay $20 million to settle the case.[Lexington Herald-Leader, 1/18

http://thinkprogress.org/2010/04/07/coal-pays...
Cookie Parker

Fishers, IN

#36 Apr 20, 2010
Oh, and Mr mUdd, incase you were wondering, informed citizen works at the corporate level for Don...and is here to discredit anyone who speaks out against him....wants to jut amke sure he finds any miners who are which is why he is against an outsider posting on this....MAssey can't hurt me, but I can push for Blankenship being charged with negligent homicide on behalf of the 29 who died.
informed citizen

Oak Hill, WV

#37 Apr 20, 2010
Cookie Parker wrote:
Oh, and Mr mUdd, incase you were wondering, informed citizen works at the corporate level for Don...and is here to discredit anyone who speaks out against him....wants to jut amke sure he finds any miners who are which is why he is against an outsider posting on this....MAssey can't hurt me, but I can push for Blankenship being charged with negligent homicide on behalf of the 29 who died.
You know how you call everyone a liar -- I'm calling you one now -- LIAR, LIAR, pants on FIRE!! I sure couldn't work too much when I'm usually near my home computer.

Now, prove I work at Massey

and with just a few key words you can find the World Socialist Workers Website and the article YOURSELF!- but I KNOW YOU can't find it. You couldn't find it if I drew you a map.
Cookie Parker

Fishers, IN

#38 Apr 21, 2010
informed citizen wrote:
<quoted text>
You know how you call everyone a liar -- I'm calling you one now -- LIAR, LIAR, pants on FIRE!! I sure couldn't work too much when I'm usually near my home computer.
Now, prove I work at Massey
and with just a few key words you can find the World Socialist Workers Website and the article YOURSELF!- but I KNOW YOU can't find it. You couldn't find it if I drew you a map.
Yeah, I got the article from Think Progress, but you knew it was put onto the WSW...guess you must have done that...ol Don paying you to post here to pump him up and make it seem as though those miners were at fault AND to discredit reports against him. Guess he was rich enough to buy a judge, he sure can pay his employees to sit around here all day to post articles to make him look good so people won't begin striking his mines and forcing him to leave. Would that be the newest low? Striking against Don's mines from the non-union miners? ROFLMAO!!!

Is that why you are paid here to write the nonsense support you do for ol' don? Because he's afraid now that he won't be able to run the fear of god into the non-union miners who must may end up striking and costing him and you jobs?
informed citizen

Oak Hill, WV

#39 Apr 21, 2010
Cookie Parker wrote:
<quoted text>
Yeah, I got the article from Think Progress, but you knew it was put onto the WSW...guess you must have done that...ol Don paying you to post here to pump him up and make it seem as though those miners were at fault AND to discredit reports against him. Guess he was rich enough to buy a judge, he sure can pay his employees to sit around here all day to post articles to make him look good so people won't begin striking his mines and forcing him to leave. Would that be the newest low? Striking against Don's mines from the non-union miners? ROFLMAO!!!
Is that why you are paid here to write the nonsense support you do for ol' don? Because he's afraid now that he won't be able to run the fear of god into the non-union miners who must may end up striking and costing him and you jobs?
You sure are paranoid. I don't work for Massey and I sure didn't put out information for a Socialist Workers Website article.

But did you inspire this? do you subscribe to this "opinion"?

Guess you like sites like this calling for Blankenship to get "lethal injection":

Lethal Justice for Massey Energy

"As to Don Blankenship, death by lethal injection"

http://www.opednews.com/articles/3/Lethal-Jus...

OEN - OpedNews - Progressive, Tough, Liberal
informed citizen

Oak Hill, WV

#40 Apr 21, 2010
I DIDN'T WRITE THIS EITHER

Charleston Daily Mail - oped

President Obama must stick to facts
Asserting that he knows what caused mine explosion is not helpful
Advertiser
PRESIDENT Obama's assertion that he knows what caused the explosion that killed 29 miners in Raleigh County was startling.

Chalk it up to politics and ignorance.

for the rest;

http://www.dailymail.com/Opinion/Editorials/2...

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