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Peter A. Galuszka
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On April 5, 2010, an explosion ripped through Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch mine and killed twenty-nine miners. This tragedy was the deadliest mine disaster in the U.S. in forty years--a disaster that never should've happened. With more safety violations than anyone else in the industry, Massy went beyond ignoring regulators but actually considered them the enemy as were unions, environmentalists, and anyone else who dared to tell Massey how to do business or how keep their miners safe. Nor was it anywhere close to the end of the tragedy. Deaths have been taking place in Appalachian mines for generations. The long hours and dangerous work are part of a way of life where poverty is pervasive, but the most insidious dangers are being buried deep underground and the true costs are hidden from the balance sheets of coal companies. Massey and its former CEO Don Blankeship--the worst offenders in the industry--appeared to perpetuate a corporate culture that destroyed human life, the health of communities, and the environment all in search of higher profits. For years, Peter Galuszka has covered energy policy around globe, and now with "Thunder on the Mountain "he tells the searing true story of the rise, fall, and resurrection of Massey Energy and in doing so exposes the coal-black motivations that fuel the ongoing war for the world's energy future.
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