For Immediate Release
Brian Willis - 202.675.2386, Brian.Willis@sierraclub.org
Don Blankenship Receives Prison Sentence
WASHINGTON - The Federal District Court in Charleston, West Virginia sentenced Donald Blankenship, the former CEO of Massey Energy, to the maximum 1 year in prison and a $250,000 fine today. Late last year, Blankenship was convicted of systematically blocking safety measures at a Massey Energy coal mine before an explosion there in 2010 that killed 29 people.
In response, Mary Anne Hitt, Director of Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign, released the following statement:
“Some measure of justice has finally caught up with Don Blankenship, and his sentencing today will add to the growing chorus of coal communities demanding that industry executives must be held accountable when their decisions destroy people’s lives -- whether it be from safety violations or continuing to destroy their land, air, water, and health.
“Today’s sentence comes on the day after the six year anniversary of the Upper Big Branch mine disaster, and we hope it gives some solace to the families of the 29 miners who lost their lives in 2010. Our thoughts are with them today.”
The Sierra Club is the oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization in the United States. It was founded on May 28, 1892 in San Francisco, California by the well-known conservationist and preservationist John Muir, who became its first president. The Sierra Club has hundreds of thousands of members in chapters located throughout the US, and is affiliated with Sierra Club Canada.