Will the notorious Don Blankenship, CEO of Massey Energy, ever be forced to relinquish his position as Supreme Chief? More calls for the Appalachian coal baron to be ousted appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette yesterday.

The drumbeat of calls for a shake-up in Massey Energy’s leadership grew louder last week as pension funds and other investors sued the nation’s fourth-largest coal producer and lobbied other shareholders to press for the ouster of chairman and CEO Don Blankenship and three directors.

Not surprisingly, Massey Energy hasn’t been performing as it normaly does in the markets since the Upper Big Branch Mine disaster in early April that shocked the nation, and especially West Virginia. The FBI recently opened investigations for Massey Energy in lieu of the mine tragedy that selfishly took 29 brave miners’ lives.

The Virginia-based coal producer’s shares sunk another 11 percent Friday, closing at $36.63. Since the accident, the value of Massey’s shares has fallen $1.4 billion.

Recently, bribery charges have been floating around as possibilities for a Massey Energy fault. Investigators are currently delving deeper into the proposed wrongdoing, while watchdog groups have begun to offer rewards.

WASHINGTON, May 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — StopTheChamber.com, a national watchdog group dedicated to government and corporate accountability, today offered a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of any Massey Energy executive for paying a bribe to any federal official for any purpose, including to cover up or ignore safety violations, pass legislation, or install or appoint pro-Massey people in key oversight positions.

Source: PR Newswire

Massey Energy Board of Directors stands behind Blankenship still and supports him as their leader going into the future, but controversy and conspiracy remain on his record. What will the future hold for the coal baron? I like to remain optimistic about his ousting and dissolve from anything related to this state, but given the grave importance coal is to West Virginia’s economic livelihood I remain skeptical. The sustainability of West Virginia, in its current state, depends on coal to help the economy prosper. Massey Energy is a coal conglomerate so to speak, and its influence across the state and all of Appalachia is large. As much as I would love to see Chairman Blankenship Zedong ousted, it doesn’t seem likely unless raw evidence pulled by the FBI links him/others to criminal acts in the aftermath of the mine tragedy. Coal Tattoo and ThinkProgress have stayed on the subject well, as well as Arianna Huffington. I hope to be able to update in the future about Blankenship’s resignation/forced retirement, but the future will tell whether or not that wish will come to fruition.

Chuckie Corra

Chuckie Corra

I am a young, moderately liberal/progressive Democrat currently residing in the state of West Virginia. I attend Shepherd University, work closely with YDA, and have been active on FDL for about 6 months. I worked with the Elewana Education Project in Kenya to promote technology growth in secondary school students. My focus, then, tends to be on issues effecting WV, environmental issues (specifically coal issues), and growing African democracies specifically Kenya. I'm pretty open-minded