Williamson, W.Va. – Don Blankenship, former CEO of Massey Energy Company and candidate for U.S. Senate, issued the first ad in a series that will highlight his professional and political accomplishments, and involvement within his community.

Don Blankenship’s opponents like to make sound bite statements such as “Don put profits before safety.” These types of statements are made to distract from the truth and to protect politicians who do nothing to make miners safer. The truth is that no one did more for coal miner safety than Don Blankenship and coal miners know it. Veteran coal miner Danny Muncy makes that point in this new ad.

Don innovated and his company funded the development of dozens of safety equipment enhancements, training techniques, and procedural improvements. Many of these safety enhancements are now the law. Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) inspectors wear Don’s creative reflective clothing, the agency requires the use of his equipment proximity device, and the use of Don’s “tram enabler” is now standard on Joy continuous miners. All these Don Blankenship safety creations are saving miners lives worldwide.

Also, Don’s new miner hat will be increasingly used in the mining industry going forward. It is a hat conceived by Don which does not require a battery cord, which is lighter, and which reduces the amount of dust a miner breathes. Don announced this hat and the proximity device in April of 2010 and MSHA featured the proximity device on their home page for many months as being a great life saving development. None of these devices would have been developed without Don’s compassion for miners and his creative mind. Certainly none of them came without a cost and they all illustrate that Don Blankenship never put profits over safety.

Its simple, Don Blankenship led the industry in safety and in protecting miners for decades. Slogans saying anything to the contrary are just that—slogans. Real safety derives from the truth, technology, engineering and training. Don and coal miners know that. Politicians like Joe Manchin do not have a clue. In other words, Senator Manchin is clueless.