Ex-coal CEO on trial talks safety in secretly recorded calls

AP News
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Posted: Oct 13, 2015 1:14 PM

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Prosecutors are continuing to replay phone calls ex-Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship secretly recorded in his office.

In recordings played in federal court Tuesday, Blankenship said he sometimes thought without federal mine regulators, "we'd blow ourselves up."

Blankenship is charged with conspiring to break mine safety laws and lying to financial regulators about safety practices at Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia, which exploded in 2010, killing 29 miners.

In the recordings, he also said he wanted to mention safety efforts in a news release after the explosion because it was "a chance to do some propaganda there."

And he said he wanted to keep an ex-Massey official's safety memo confidential because it would be a terrible document to resurface in a legal case if a fatal accident occurred.