Massey Energy Disaster Fallout

Via Brad Johnson at Think Progress.

The good news

Shareholders are calling on Massey Energy to seek the immediate resignation of chairman and CEO Don Blankenship in the aftermath of the West Virginia disaster that killed 29 miners, the worst in forty years. The Change to Win Investment Group — a union pension fund group with over $200 billion in assets — believes the Upper Big Branch mine explosion is the “tragic consequence of the board’s failure to challenge Chairman and CEO Blankenship’s confrontational approach to regulatory compliance.”

and the bad news:

Yesterday, Standard & Poors upgraded Massey to a “buy,” saying the tragedy’s “financial effect” was “immaterial.”

Clearly the legal system is failing when 29 employees dead, doesn’t rate as a financial problem. Massey energy has a long and exceptionally awful safety record and yet the S&P is confident that 29 deaths will have only external costs to the company.


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