Thursday, April 07, 2016

Blankenship Goes to Jail

"Mr. Blankenship was a hard-driving executive who demanded productivity reports every 30 minutes. He retired after the explosion with a $12 million golden parachute. “This game is about money,” he was heard emphasizing in one recorded comment uncovered in the investigation.

"Judge Berger reminded the convicted coal baron that there was more than money at stake: 'You, Mr. Blankenship, created a culture of noncompliance at Upper Big Branch where your subordinates accepted and, in fact, encouraged unsafe working conditions in order to reach profitability and production targets.'"


OnymousGuy said...

His sentence amounts to $8620.69 and 12 days, 14 hours, 4 minutes, and 9 secs per death.

Unlike a poor New Orleans man, who could spend the rest of his life in jail after allegedly shoving “$31 worth of candy bars into his pockets at a Dollar General store.”

David in Cal said...

The judge and the Times blame Blankenship's unconscionable acts on "putting profitability of the company ahead of the safety of your employees.” Having had responsibility for promoting industrial safety, I have a slightly different take. Blankenship's mismanagement came from having a wrong idea of how to promote profitability. Safety increases profit. Even aside from the horrendous human costs, accidents cost more than safety precautions do.


Chris_Winter said...

"Even aside from the horrendous human costs, accidents cost more than safety precautions do."

Of course they do, David in Cal. Benjamin Franklin's dictum "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" is still in effect. But you wouldn't know it from the performance of BP in the Gulf of Mexico or that gas company in southern California.