From the April 19, 2010 issue of TIME Magazine
We still burn coal, so miners still go down into dark holes to get it. Sometimes those miners do not come back up. Then we pay attention to the dark holes. This week we paid attention to the Upper Big Branch mine in Montcoal, W.Va., because 25 miners died there while supporting their families by extracting coal for Massey Energy. Four more miners are missing. So attention must be paid. Accidents happen, and it's true, as Massey CEO Don Blankenship said after the tragedy, that "anything you do in life has risks." But it's also true that Massey has a history of flagrant safety violations, including a record fine after a fatal 2006 fire, and flagrant environmental violations, including a record dirty-water fine. And Blankenship is practically a caricature of a regulation-bashing, union-busting, climate-change-denying, multimillion-dollar-bonus-collecting, mustache-twirling greedhead. He says safety is his top priority, but he once wrote a memo haranguing his managers to stop worrying about anything but running coal. Anyway, some things you do in life can create risks for others. Attention must be paid to that too.