Fossil Fool Don Blankenship Assaults ABC Reporter

What may not be completely clear (one minute in) from this clip is that Blankenship actually pushes the reporter about a hundred feet while the reported says “Please let go of me” about 12 times. All the while Blankenship has this creepy grimacey smile on his face. Oh, and he threatens to shoot the reporter.

In other news of coal thuggery, “Friends of Coal” recently busted up a prayer vigil for the mountains in Ansted, WV. They brought about 30 folks, including small children, to heckle, make rude comments and physically threaten the pastors, priests, grannies and other citizens that had come out to pray and sing Amazing Grace together on the mountain side. Despite the determination of the Fiends of Coal who brought their small children to participate in a fun morning of verbally abusing people trying to pray, it actually turned into a useful dialog when the Pro-Mountain folks explained to them that they want to see a clean, just West Virginia with more jobs for coal miners. Indeed, Mountain Top Removal has lost WV about 110,000 jobs since the 70’s and an immediate ban on Mountaintop Removal would create up to 2,000 deep mining jobs.

Big Coal is stepping up the intimidation. At the Clean Water Protection Act Lobby this past week, Representative Rahall (D WV) (email him) yelled at and verbally harassed the citizens who had driven the 7 hours to DC to meet with him and tell him the stories of how Mountaintop Removal had affected their families. “First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win.” Gandhi. So, we’ll take the all this intimidation as a sign that we’re about to win.

7 Responses to “Fossil Fool Don Blankenship Assaults ABC Reporter”

  1. 1 Søren Kjær Vestergaard Apr 14th, 2008 at 6:08 am

    From the video presentation I can understand that this ought to be changed in the US justice system. There are many good people comming together making this change possible. It is nice to know that americans want a fair system of justice. I know of many countries around the world who envy the american justice system and knowing that many people want to fix the system leaves me with comfort that this will happen. When enough people want a change to become real it will become real in the end – this is how God created our great world.

  2. 2 Mandy May 23rd, 2008 at 10:46 am

    What was definitely not clear in the video was that Mr. Blankeship had already refused to be interviewed several times. He made an appearance on the local news that evening and explained that he did not even know who the man was when he made the comment about him getting shot; he was only warning him that if he shows up unannounced and starts taking pictures of people security may mistake him for someone with bad intentions and the security officer may end up shooting. Furthermore, you probably don’t live in WV. You more than likely have no ties with WV. If you were born here you probably left because you could not find a job. So, if the majority of us have no issue with mountain top removal then who the hell are you to say what we do here is wrong – IT DOES NOT CONCERN YOU!
    In WV (especially rural) mining is not just a way life – it is life. It is the only means most of us have of supporting our families.
    Mountains do not feed people. They do not employ people. They are simply big mounds of dirts that make it impossible to build something that will be a resource for the people who live around it.
    Also, with the rising cost of oil and gasoline prices I personally hope that coal companies do whatever it takes to keep coal prices as low as possible.

  3. 3 David Aug 25th, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    In response to Mandy, I have to strongly disagree. Mountains do feed and employ people. Your state currently brings in millions of tourism dollars a year. How many jobs are created as a result of the tourist industry and how many more could be created if your resources were managed properly?

    Why do tourists come to your state? It certainly isn’t to see ugly scars from mining. No, they come to enjoy your mountains and rivers and the natural beauty. What happens when the mountains are gone and the coal is gone? You will be left with ugly scars and not only will the coal be gone, but your other main resource, tourism, will not be there either. Instead, you will be stuck with ugly scars on the land, a landscape depleted of minerals on which crops cannot be grown, and a place that noone will want to visit.

    God created the mountains. What right do we have to destroy them?

  4. 4 James Oct 13th, 2008 at 12:51 am

    To say that West Virginia cannot feed people is patently false. By the methods of modern industrial agriculture the statement is true. However, West Virginia is warm enough to grow a huge variety of plants, from annual vegetables to berry-bearing shrubs to fruit and nut trees that live hundreds of years, not to mention the livestock and wild game that can thrive in the region. Understanding of ecological realities and permacultural principles combined with an innovative, experimental approach to living in general would allow for a more locally supported society in WV. People and societies survived in great number there before Europeanization, and they had nothing but native plants and animals with which to work and only a fraction of our modern scientific understanding of nature. Blankenship’s and others’ worldview in which coal and nationalist industry are the only things that can sustain human life in WV is ignorant and simplistic. Human greed for power is the only thing keeping WV from being a self-sustaining paradise. In that case, though, perhaps Blankman and those who agree with him are right. The most detrimental force to earthly human happiness is often humanity itself…

  5. 5 Richad Mercer Dec 8th, 2008 at 4:25 pm

    Everything in life is interconnected. What happens with coal in West Virginia does effect the rest of the world. You don’t live in an isolated biosphere called West Virginia. Coal is killing the ocean, with acidification and mercury and other toxins.
    Shellfish and coral can’t make exoskeletons, which are alkaline, in highly acidified water. Coral reefs are critical to the ecosystem of the sea. Coral reefs normally teem with sea life of all kinds. Shellfish are an important part of the foodchain and ecosystem of the sea. If the ecosystem of the sea collapses, humans are finished. Period.
    And coal kills tens of thousands of humans in the U.S. alone every year.

    I understand that many of you depend on the coal industry for employment. That will have to change. Coal plants will be displaced by cleaner forms of energy. Clean coal, if such a thing is even possible, would be far to expensive to compete with solar and wind power. And it would be too late to address the immediate need for clean electric power. Clean coal is 10- 20 years away from being commercially viable on a large scale. Clean coal isn’t ready enough to be a near term solution to climate change. It may contribute later, and research should continue, but spending large amounts of money now for large scale commercialization would be money better spent on renewable energy.
    Solar and wind are ready now, with current technology, to provide safe, clean, limitless power inexpensively.
    It won’t be the end of the world for West Virginians. Other clean tech industries could provide employment in the future.

  6. 6 amoeba Dec 12th, 2008 at 3:31 pm

    Coal is mostly mined in order to to be burned. The resultant CO2 is accumulating in the atmosphere. Scientists know that the CO2 accumulating in the atmosphere and dissolving in the oceans [causing acidification] is derived from fossil fuels becaise it is isotopically distinct from biological carbon.

    The CO2 affects the whole world, so all fossil fuels affect the atmosphere EVERYWHERE, so it is everybody’s business.

    There are alternatives to coal and clean coal isn’t one of them. ‘Clean coal’ doesn’t exist. It’s just a wedge argument – a lie used by the coal industry to justify new coal powered stations.

    We will only need coal IF we don’t invest in high efficiency technology, insulation and renewable generation. There is no need to sacrifice living standards.

    There will always be a use for coal, but it’s far too valuable to burn. It’s needed for the chemical industry.

  7. 7 Jacqueline S. Homan Jan 18th, 2009 at 10:51 pm

    “Anywhere you go, low cost electricity, the creation of energy, of jobs, of an economy, ultimately leads to an improvement in the environment. There is no place in the world that has a good environment where people live on two dollars a day with no electricity.”

    Apparently Don Blankenship didn’t get the memo: millions of poor Americans have to live like that right here in our own backyard. Over 16 million American households are without gas or electricity (or both) because their services were shut off after they’ve been priced out by skyrocketing utility companies’ rates. In northwestern Pennsylvania where I live, low-income electric utility customers are forced to pay an average of $175/mo for their electricity alone. Pennsylvania’s governor Ed Rendell signed Act 201 into law in November 2004 allowing utility companies to shut off poor people for inability to pay, even in the dead of winter. Having your gas or electric shut off in the winter is a death sentence in Pennsylvania. And there isn’t “all this help out there” for the needy that people think there is.

    So who is benefiting from this “cheap electricity” Blankenship is talking about and where is it?
    Every American would certainly benefit from free/low-cost electricity, such as that derived from hydrogen proton membrane exchange fuel cell technology, solar and wind. Unfortanely, most Americans cannot go “off-grid” because the price of solar, geothermal and wind is out of reach for them. THey’re also faced with opposition from local zoning ordinances, restrictive deed covenants, and homeowner insurance policy stipulations.

    Don Blankenship also confuses the definition of free market capitalism with feudalism. Feudalism exists when a small handful of wealthy elites band together to keep other industries out of a region, which keeps out more good jobs for people – thus artificially creating an inflated and permanent underclass. This tactic has worked for greedy corporate interests to maintain a docile few middle class people. It scares them into complacency with an unjust status quo and a blind obedience to the agenda of sociopathic elites who are nothing but social parasites that obtained their wealth and privilege by creating poverty and despair by design – on top of the ecological destruction left in their wake.

    In a true free market, Americans would not be artificially held in debt peonage to utility monopolies and oil, natural gas, and coal cartels. In a true free market, Bruce DePalma’s “N-Machine” , an environmentally friendly device that generates free electricity, would have reached the mass market. Freedom from unaffordable utility rates would have lifted most of America’s poor out of poverty and fostered healthy and ecologically responsible economic growth in communities across the nation. But Bruce DePalma died under very suspicious circumstances within days before his N-Machine was ready for mass production with patents pending.

    Don Blankenship holds himself up as a nice guy who gives out two toys and a turkey to select poor families in Mingo County, WV and Pike County, KY at Christmas. But his charity is nothing more than a high profile publicity stunt. Maybe Blankenship really thinks he is being a nice guy. But “nice” compared whom? The Burmese military? Idi Amin? Pol Pot? Foday Sankoh?

    Massey Energy, under the direction and leadership of this “nice guy”, has poisoned the well water in communities throughout Logan, Boone, Mingo, and McDowell counties in West Virginia due to coal waste seepage into the groundwater. The majority of the citizens there cannot afford the luxury of bottled water; they’re hard pressed to put their next meal on the table. In areas such as Prenter, the well water is so contaminated that skin contact is inadvisable. But the people cannot afford to buy bottled water for drinking and cooking, let alone bathing and washing clothes. Blankenship bought off the West Virginia legal system to lawyer Massey’s way out of having to recompense West Virginians that have suffered because their soil and water supply was contaminated, rendering their property worthless and their health irreparably damaged. He thinks couple of toys and a turkey on Christmas is sufficient for giving back to the communities that his company has destroyed. What a good Samaritan! (NOT!).

    The toxic cocktail of heavy metals and chemicals in the coal slurry has been directly linked to abnormally high rates of birth defects, physical deformities, and developmental disabilities in children, diseases, cancer, and premature disability and death rates in Mingo County – the poorest county in the entire United States. Coincidently, Mingo County has a poverty rate close to 30% and has borne the brunt of the most mountaintop removal activity. Mountaintop removal has not created good jobs – it has eliminated good jobs and created an environmental disaster that makes the Exxon-Valdez fiasco look like small potatoes. And once mountains are blown up, they don’t grow back. The entire ecosystem of the eastern and southern United States is at peril if the “Mountain State” is turned into one big desolate “Moonscape State”. And countless Americans are living like those in 3rd World nations because of not having clean safe water – forget the cheap electricity.

    Jacqueline Sarah Homan,
    Author: “Classism For Dimwits”
    “Eyes of a Monster”
    “Nothing You Can Possess”

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