A Craigslist Ad For a Coal Baron

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On Friday, Don Blankenship, the most hated coal baron in America, resigned as CEO and chairman of Massey Energy. The union-busting, Bentley-driving, mountaintop-blasting corporate crusader, best known for overseeing a deadly mining disaster in April that was the industry’s worst in 40 years, will be hard to replace. But should anyone wish to try, a want ad popped up yesterday on the jobs section of West Virginia Craigslist:

Massey Energy Seeks CEO

Date: 2010-12-06, 5:37PM EST
Reply to:  job-a32nw-2098801382@craigslist.org

Massey Energy seeks a new Chief Executive Officer to carry on its important work destroying the environment and jeopardizing the health and safety of its employees. This position will oversee all Massey Energy operations (but don’t worry – stringent or really any oversight is not a corporate priority). 

Key responsibilities: 
-Ducking responsibility for grave accidents and enthusiastically (and with a straight face) shifting the blame to government agencies created to prevent such incidents. 
-Denying climate change, hating the environment and hating anyone who might enjoy the environment. 
-Trading campaign cash for congressional favor. 
-Threatening members of the media. 
-Personally persuading workers to abandon union organizing. 

Other qualities of a successful candidate: 
-Inattention to detail. 
-A really, really, really short fuse. 
-Love of vacationing with judicial and political figures responsible for decisions/rulings regarding Massey. 
-Ability to whine in high stress work environments, despite media criticism. 
-General flagrant disregard for miner safety a plus. 

Outside of the purview of the position: 
-Addressing safety violations (The Upper Big Branch mine has been cited for 1,342 safety violations since 2005 – whatevs.) 
-Reporting accidents (Massey Energy did not report more than 20 accidents at the explosive mine for two years before the explosion.) 

Must be comfortable in office dress code, camouflage. 

Salary is $17.8 million, the highest in the coal industry, and can be expected to double from one calendar year to the next. Bonuses frequently awarded for absolutely no reason at all. 

This is a full time permanent position and will not be eliminated like other Massey Energy jobs as the company increases reliance on mountaintop removal coal mining, which in addition to destroying West Virginian’s livelihoods and communities, has the added benefit of destroying mountains, valleys and waterways. 

(For more information about the coal industry visit http://www.sierraclub.org/coal/.) 

Compensation: $17.8 million + bonuses
Principals only. Recruiters, please don’t contact this job poster.
Please, no phone calls about this job!
Please do not contact job poster about other services, products or commercial interests.

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This feels like the most important fundraising drive since I've been CEO of Mother Jones, with staggeringly high stakes and so much uncertainty. In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," I try to unpack the reality we all face and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support Mother Jones’ nonprofit journalism: We need to raise $400,000 to help cover the vital reporting projects we have planned, and right now is no time to pull back.

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