Secretary Hillary Clinton was apparently offended by my presence at one of her campaign stops. She should understand that as a lifetime member of coal country and a proud West Virginian, I am interested in any suggestions she has to address the problems coal miners and coal communities face today. It is disappointing that she is choosing to promote her political campaign by demonizing me.

It is no secret that I have made enemies in high places by defending coal miners and by being critical of mine regulators and government bureaucrats who seek to destroy miners’ jobs. Secretary Clinton routinely claims that investigations into her conduct occur for political purposes, so she should understand better than most that Mr. Goodwin launched his campaign for governor by unjustly prosecuting me.

Ms. Clinton has made no effort to understand anything about the UBB explosion. She has not even read, much less considered, the mine law safety enhancements I have posted on my website at My suggestions will save coal miners’ lives. How can she or anyone argue that more air is not better for coal miners, that mapping does not need to be improved or that MSHA should be allowed to continue to investigate itself.

I do hope that whoever is elected will demand a truly independent investigation of the UBB explosion, the cover-up of the facts by MSHA, the disappearance of emails and the destruction of government documents. Someday the truth about MSHA’s failure at UBB and its frantic effort to protect itself in the aftermath will have to be told.

-Don Blankenship