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Notorious Former Coal Chief Makes His Case for Vindication

Blankenship in 2010
Blankenship in 2010Photograph by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Whatever else you might say about Don Blankenship, the union-busting former chief executive of Massey Energy, a coal company notorious for putting workers at risk, grant the man this: He’s got chutzpah.

To mark the four-year anniversary on Saturday of the explosion at Massey’s Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia’s Raleigh County—a disaster that killed 29 men in the worst coal accident in nearly 40 years—Blankenship has released a documentary absolving himself of blame and spewing venom toward regulators and political enemies. The 51-minute video, Upper Big Branch: Never Again, became available this week, and Blankenship visited Bloomberg Businessweek this morning to promote it.