By Peter A. Galuszka
"Scathing exposé of the coal industry."
--The long island instances booklet Review
On April five, 2010, an explosion ripped via Massey Energy's higher titanic department Mine, killing twenty-nine coal miners. This tragedy was once the deadliest mine catastrophe within the usa in 40 years―a catastrophe that by no means must have occurred. those deaths have been rooted within the cynical company tradition of Massey and its infamous former CEO Don Blankenship, and have been a part of an never-ending cycle of poverty, exploitation, and environmental abuse that has ruled the Appalachian coalfields considering that coal was once first found there. And the cycle maintains unabated as coal businesses bury the main insidious risks deep underground, all looking for better gains, and conceal the real expenditures from regulators, unions, and traders alike.
But the catastrophe at top vast department is going past the coalfields of West Virginia. It casts an international shadow, calling into sour query why coal miners within the usa are sacrificed to erect towns at the different part of the realm, why the coal wars were allowed to rage, polarizing the rustic, and the way the world's voracious urge for food for power is happy at such horrendous cost.
With Thunder at the Mountain, Peter A. Galuszka items jointly the genuine tale of greed and negligence in the back of the tragedy on the higher enormous department Mine, and in doing so he has created a devastating portrait of a complete that exposes the coal-black motivations that ended in the dying of twenty-nine miners and gasoline the continued battle for the world's strength future.
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Extra info for Thunder on the Mountain: Death at Massey and the Dirty Secrets Behind Big Coal
Now not unusually, injuries in under-inspected mines have been ready to ensue. approximately back-to-back incidents in January 2006 introduced renewed specialize in mining hazards and lax law. On January 2, a blast on the Sago Mine close to Buckhannon, West Virginia, trapped 13 miners within the facility owned by means of a subsidiary of foreign Coal workforce that had acquired the mine years earlier than at a financial ruin public sale. through the prior yr, the mine were stated 208 instances by means of MSHA, which was once a considerable bring up from the 12 months earlier than. for 2 days, households and neighbors waited as rescuers needed to take care of excessive degrees of carbon monoxide. Cheers erupted whilst it used to be pronounced that every one 13 were reached. The document used to be inaccurate. information media shops have been compelled to right themselves. Twelve have been came upon useless. One badly injured miner survived. a few had controlled to go into a “safe room” outfitted with meals and oxygen, however the miners had no longer been capable of construct a barricade from infected shafts. no longer hermetic, the barricade enable toxic gases drift into their shelter, the place they eventually died. Fifteen days later, a conveyor belt stuck fireplace at Massey Energy’s Aracoma Alma Mine No. 1 in Logan County, West Virginia. Smoke wafted into an air consumption passage that used to be intended to be an get away path, and miners have been killed. MSHA stated that Massey didn't set up wanted sprinkler platforms and keep a water offer enough to address such underground fires. It used to be anything that Blankenship knew approximately at the very least six days earlier than the blaze. in keeping with the Charleston Gazette, on April 17, 2010 Blankenship had despatched Massey power troubleshooter Linton Stump to envision into difficulties on the mine. Stump despatched Blankenship a memo caution him of the mine’s risks. He alerted Blankenship that “while defense experiences from Aracoma managers confirmed that every little thing was once ok, certainly, it used to be now not. ” Massey’s subsidiary later pleaded in charge to 10 federal fees, and the enterprise paid a $2. five million felony nice. one other 1,300 citations have been filed within the Aracoma case, leading to $1. 7 million in more fines. Aracoma and Sago sparked another tightening of protection ideas, no less than on paper. New federal laws lower than the 2006 Mine development and New Emergency reaction (MINER) Act required every one mine to coordinate emergencies with neighborhood organizations and increase monitoring structures to find trapped miners and boosted required oxygen provides to 2 hours for underground employees. The legislations was once hailed because the first significant reform of mine safeguard legislation given that 1977. yet as is commonplace in U. S. mining heritage, the legislation wasn’t effectively applied, as higher great department indicates. the hot legislations required all mines to put in an digital monitoring method to teach the approximate destinations of miners. this type of method was once being put in at higher colossal department on the time of the blast, however the McAteer document fees Derrick Kiblinger, the guy answerable for the set up, as announcing, “The monitoring procedure was once rather a long way in the back of. probably 20 percentage of it can were performed by way of April five [2010, the date of the disaster].