This is an issue beyond Central Appalachia, where Massey does most of its mining. It is an issue for all of rural America, because extractive industries do most of their extracting in rural areas, and for rural journalists, who need to cover not only the events of the day or week, but step back and take a longer look at the players involved: not just companies, but regulators, lawyers, activists and others.
Ken Ward Jr., left, whom we consider America's leading coal and mine-safety reporter and one of its leading environmental reporters. He writes, "Despite years of environmental problems and dozens of mining deaths, Massey and its corporate officials – including now-retired CEO Don Blankenship – have mostly escaped any serious, direct punishment." (Read more)