April 06, 2016

Manchin Statement on Sentencing of Don Blankenship

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) today issued the following statement on the sentencing of former Massey Energy chief executive Don Blankenship to one year in prison, one year on supervised release and $250,000 fine on criminal charges of conspiracy to break safety regulations at the Upper Big Branch mine.

“This awful tragedy and this case have caused us to set precedence in West Virginia. In our state, we will not allow the prioritization of production and profits over the safety of our workers. No sentence is severe enough, and no amount of time in jail time will heal the hearts of the families who have been forever devastated, and I pray that this sentence brings them some closure. I will always stand behind them. Yesterday, on the sixth anniversary of the Upper Big Branch Mine disaster, we remembered the 29 brave miners we lost on that tragic day. We can never bring them back, but I join all West Virginians in praying this conclusion brings some peace to the families of the miners.”