Coal Industry's 'Dark Lord' Will Retire in Style

Opinion: Notorious CEO profits from suffering of workers
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 8, 2010 1:42 PM CST
Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship leaves Capitol Hill after testifying in May.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

(Newser) – Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship resigned last week without much explanation, soon after a damning profile by Rolling Stone headlined "The Dark Lord of Coal Country," notes Andrew Leonard in Salon. Who knows, maybe that article, looming lawsuits, investigations over tragedies like this fatal mine explosion, and pressure from investors combined to seal his fate, writes Leonard. The only thing we know for sure is that he won't be hurting for money.

Let us count the ways, via, which notes that Blankenship's gotten $38.2 million in compensation over the last three years, with $26.7 million of it in cash. His pension was worth $5.7 million as of April, and "he's also built up $27.2 million in his deferred-compensation account." Don't forget his "'salary continuation retirement benefit,' which will keep paying Blankenship $18,241 a month for 10 years after his retirement" and ... you get the picture. Writes Leonard: "Moral of the story: Suffering pays—as long as it is inflicted on other people."

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