Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Bath, Maine, United States

With a new administration in Washington it will be a challenge to get the 'liberals' to hold Biden-Harris to the few 'progressive promises' they made during their campaign. Biden is bringing back many of Bush & Obama's neo-cons to head his foreign policy. I'll be on this case without hesitation.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

CORPORATE MINING CEO ALSO TEABAGGER FUNDER


Meet Don Blankenship, CEO of Massey Energy Company. Blankenship is also on the Board of Directors of the US Chamber of Commerce. In this speech above, he denies climate change and says that “the greeniacs are taking over the world.”

Massey Energy Company, Blankenship’s highly successful strip-mining and mountaintop removal operation is the parent company of Performance Coal Co, where a tragic explosion occurred on April 5th. As of this writing, 25 miners have died and 4 more are still missing.

Here’s something else about Don Blankenship and Massey Energy Company: Blankenship spent over $1 million dollars along with other US Chamber buddies like Verizon to sponsor last year’s Labor Day Tea Party, also known as the “Friends of America Rally.”

On Monday, 25 miners were killed and left four others trapped underground at the Upper Big Branch Mine. It is the worst mining disaster in the United States since 1984 and, if the four trapped miners are not rescued, would become the worst since 1970. The Washington Post reports, “[t]he cause of Monday’s explosion has not been determined, but a buildup of methane or coal dust was considered the likeliest culprit.”

The Upper Big Branch mine received 39 violations in 2009 citing a failure to plan for ventilation to extract methane and other chemicals. Fifteen of these were considered “significant and substantial.” In July of 2009, the mine received its largest monetary fine of the year ($66,142) for allowing the accumulation of combustible materials in working spaces. Upper Big Branch received 34 similar violations citing accumulation of combustible materials, 20 of which were determined to be “significant and substantial.”

Massey Energy has contested nearly all major citations issued against the Upper Big Branch Mine in 2009 and has paid less than 20% of the fines levied against them. Of the top 100 fines levied against the Upper Big Branch Mine in 2009, Massey Energy has contested or are delinquent in paying 85% of them. Upper Big Branch was also cited for 202 violations that were considered “significant and substantial.” Seventy-six percent of those have either been contested or Massey Energy is delinquent in paying them.

- Reprinted in part from article called CEO of Mine Where 25 Workers Were Killed Is a Teabagger

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