National Consumers League

NCL statement on Blankenship sentencing


April 9, 2016

Contact: NCL Cindy Hoang,, (202) 835-3323

Washington, DC-The National Consumers League has issued the following statement, which may be attributed to Executive Director Sally Greenberg, on the sentencing this week of Don Blankenship, mine owner of the Upper Big Branch mine, where 29 miners were killed in 2010. Blankenship was convicted of conspiring to violate mine safety standards and sentenced to one year in prison.

The justice system was at work in the sentencing of Don Blankenship this week to one year in prison. Blankenship’s notorious management style – putting profits over the safety of workers – and creating a working environment of subterfuge, fear, and intimidation, created the conditions that lead to the deaths of 29 miners at Upper Big Branch mine. This sentence won’t bring back the lives of these hardworking miners, but it does send a message to coal operators who skirt the law: you do so at your own risk.

NCL stands alongside mineworkers, the United Mine Workers of America, and all those who labor under dangerous conditions in support of the safety and health of workers. Their welfare must never take a back seat to profits.


About the National Consumers League

The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America's pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit