Blankenship again pleads not guilty; trial date set for April 20

Former Massey Energy Chairman Don Blankenship on March 24 pleaded not guilty to a “superseding” indictment that added more federal charges over an explosion that killed 29 miners at the Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia in 2010.

Blankenship is accused of knowingly violating federal mine safety laws, leading to the explosion. He retired from Massey at the end of 2010, before Massey was taken over in June 2011 by Alpha Natural Resources (NYSE: ANR).

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia has set an April 20 trial date on these charges, with the trial in the Beckley courthouse to be handled by Judge Irene Berger. The arraignment judge on March 24 ordered that his $5 million bond be continued.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.