Searching for the Truth
Can we make coal mining safer?
The purpose behind the Upper Big Branch - Never Again documentary is to review forensic evidence from the Upper Big Branch Mine disaster that occurred on April 5, 2010. The film seeks to start a public discussion about the need for cooperation among the mining industry, government and mining experts to improve mining safety. Analyzing forensic evidence from tragedies like the explosion at Upper Big Branch and adopting innovations and technology developed by coal companies could bring improvements to mine safety. Don Blankenship is concerned that improvements in mine safety will not be made as long as the geological characteristics of mines and mine disasters are not fully investigated.
For the Sake of Our Miners
The documentary, Upper Big Branch -- Never Again, raised questions about the Government's reasons for discounting critical forensic evidence from the explosion that occurred on April 5, 2010 at the Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia. A public outcry, led by U.S. Senator Joe Manchin, attempted to silence the filmmakers and the film's sponsor, Don Blankenship. Senator Manchin called for the documentary's removal from the Internet — seeking to silence the filmmakers and violate their First Amendment Rights. As of this film's release, the Senator has not replied that he will investigate further the evidence that was presented in the original film. On the contrary, Senator Manchin vilified Don Blankenship, both in writing and on television, stating that he believes that Don has blood on his hands and that justice that will be done. Why is the Senator afraid to look into the evidence? What are his motives?
This film looks closer at the forensic evidence from Upper Big Branch, ways that MSHA is hindering coal mine safety, and solutions to the problem.