By: Michael Whitney Monday April 12, 2010 11:16 am
After 29 miners employed by Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship died in an explosion of a West Virginia mine last week, there has been increasing scrutiny of Massey’s prioritization of profits over safety. Last year, Blankenship proclaimed it was “very difficult” to obey “nonsensical” safety rules. In 2001, Blankenship said he “doesn’t pay much attention to the violation count,” and a few years later, issued a memo to employees telling the ignore any order – including safety – except to “run coal” because “coal pays the bills.” He even said mine safety regulations were “as silly as global warming.”
So this morning’s news from the S&P stock exchange should be music to Don Blankenship’s ears. Massey’s stock has been upgraded to a “buy” because the accident should be “immaterial” to Massey’s finances.