© 2021 West Virginia Public Broadcasting
Telling West Virginia's Story
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Blankenship Readies for Trial Thursday

Jacquelyn Martin
Associated Press

Ex-Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship has never shied from a fight and his toughest one is just beginning, as he goes on trial in the worst U.S. mine disaster in 45 years.

Blankenship's trial starts Thursday with jury selection in federal court in West Virginia.

Blankenship is charged with conspiring to break health and safety requirements in hundreds of violations at Upper Big Branch Mine, which exploded in 2010, killing 29 miners. He's also charged with lying about Massey's safety practices in financial documents.

He faces up to three decades in prison if convicted.

Blankenship rose from a single-mother Appalachian upbringing to make almost $20 million off coal in one year. He battled unions and fought federal environmental and safety standards, which his mines often broke.

WVPB is local news, education, music, and entertainment for West Virginia.
Your donation today will help keep us strong and vital.