Big Coal CEO's Anti-Environment Screed Caught on Tape

Don Blankenship seems to either be a very confrontational sort of person or to have completely jumped the shark by the looks of this video footage released today by NRDC.
This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

Don Blankenship, CEO of Massey Energy (NYSE: MEE) the fourth largest coal producer in the United States thinks Gore, Pelosi, Reid and environmentalists are crazy, atheist, communist Greeniacs who lie about climate change and other environmental issues.

Blankenship seems to either be a very confrontational sort of person or to have completely jumped the shark by the looks of this video footage released today by NRDC.

Blankenship's speech is quite disheartening because it shows very clearly the massive divide that continues to exist between environmental groups and people who care about environmental issues and the very companies that we need to convince to do something about these issues.

Below are video excerpts of the speech Blankenship made in West Virginia on November 20, 2008.

"I don't believe climate change is real."

Blankenship: "I don't believe climate change is real, I do believe that the Arctic is melting and the Antarctic is getting colder. I believe it's a normal cycle. This is the first speech I've given at the Tug Valley Institute in November and it's snowing outside. So it's not my greatest concern."

Blankenship's disbelief in the realities of climate change sure doesn't make sense when his company is touting its green credentials in its 2008 corporate social responsibility report by "Recognizing the increased focus on carbon dioxide and climate change, we [Massey] are taking steps to address emissions issues. operations and facilities in the United States and abroad, as well as significant resources allocated to research...." One word for this: marketing bafflegab. Another fitting term would be greenwashing.

Lies and more lies about global warming

Senators Reid and Pelosi and Al Gore are Crazy Greeniacs

Blankenship: "Let me be clear about it Al Gore, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid they don't know what they're talking about, they're totally wrong. What they do is nonsense... pretty simple, they're all crazy."

"The Greeniacs are taking over the world"

Blankenship: "Why doesn't somebody say something. The greeniacs are taking over the world. In Europe today you have green poverty and they're already going the other way. They've already learned that trying to sequester carbon and shut down the coal power plants is not going to work."

Our opponents are Communists and Atheists

So you tell me: How can we convince a Blankenship that his company has to deal with things like carbon, mercury and nitrogen oxide emissions when he thinks climate change is a lie and people who care about the environment are crazy "Greeniacs"?

Most likely the answer is that we don't even try to convince the likes of Blankenship and instead we focus on convincing our politicians to put in place the environmental protection regulations that will force the necessary measures. Of course, this only leads to the widening of the gap between environmental and business concerns even further and with neither side ever really being satisfied with the terms of the cease fire agreement.

Check out the Wonk Room at ThinkProgress for their take on Blankenship's comments.

Popular in the Community


What's Hot