I’m live at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, where Massey Energy CEO and chairman Don Blankenship is speaking in a special press luncheon today. Outside are protestors who are calling Mr. Blankenship to task for his oversight of the non-union company whose safety law violations — over 100 citations from the U.S.Mine Safety and Health Administration this year alone — led to a fatal explosion this year that took 29 lives and whose mountaintop removal mining practices have racked up thousands of Clean Water Act violations. For more info on those environmental violations, see my blog yesterday, and for more information on how mountaintop removal mining is devastating the environment all across Appalachia, contaminating water supplies, sickening people, and tearing apart communities, see our campaign page on our work to Stop Mountaintop Removal Mining. Finally, for some more background on just how Mr. Blankenship became such a notorious national figure, read this New York Times story on his politics in West Virginia.
Blankenship will take to the microphone in just a few minutes, and I’ll keep you posted and give you the highlights as they go down.
Archived version of live tweets:
judgethis: #BlankTalk is over, for now anyway. Lots still to say: stay tuned to @Earthjustice blog for final thoughts and reflections
Thursday, July 22, 2010 11:23 AM
judgethis: Blankenship against enviro regulations but then says we need to mine more coal here bc china doesn’t have the same enviro regs. #BlankTalk
Thursday, July 22, 2010 11:12 AM
judgethis: Why should MTR continue despite no reclamation of sites? "As far as I can see, NYC and DC have been developed w no plans to reclaim them"
Thursday, July 22, 2010 10:50 AM
judgethis: Blankenship continues to talk abt physics and God causing accident despite his mine’s safety problems. Taking no responsibility
Thursday, July 22, 2010 10:48 AM
judgethis: Blankenship on why this accident happened, even after safety citations: physics of natural law and God trump what man tries to do
Thursday, July 22, 2010 10:46 AM
judgethis: Massey’s Blankenship deflects his company’s safety and fatality record by throwing out # of ppl killed each year on highways
Thursday, July 22, 2010 10:39 AM
judgethis: Massey’s Blankenship: "greatest thing you can do in a charitable way is to produce. We produce a lot of energy."
Thursday, July 22, 2010 10:36 AM
judgethis: WOW. Blankenship thinks Massey’s business is in the biz of charity:
Thursday, July 22, 2010 10:35 AM
judgethis: Audience Q?: "what if someone blew up the top of the mtn u live on?" Blankenship: "I don’t live on the top of a mtn." No real answer.
Thursday, July 22, 2010 10:32 AM
judgethis: How does that work? Blankenship talking science? Really? After thousands of Clean Water Act violations
Thursday, July 22, 2010 10:28 AM
judgethis: Blankenship loves science as argument against better mine safety laws but hates science when it comes to environment
Thursday, July 22, 2010 10:26 AM
judgethis: Blankenship: even after deadly explosion: "typically mine safety & health acts are knee-jerk reactions"
Thursday, July 22, 2010 10:25 AM
judgethis: Surprise! @dirtyenergy RAN protesters just popped out of lunch seats & held signs in front of Blankenship: "Massey coal: not clean or safe"
Thursday, July 22, 2010 10:23 AM
judgethis: Blankenship touts coal as fuel of the industrial rev. Uh, we’re light years past indust rev in every other tech. This is not a selling pt.
Thursday, July 22, 2010 10:17 AM
judgethis: Natl Press Club warns us to be respectful, blankenship opens by saying he’s glad for that warning. #BlankTalk #stopMTR
Thursday, July 22, 2010 10:05 AM
judgethis: While waiting for lunch to begin, check out @kenwardjr twitterfeed for lots of background reading & latest on Massey
Thursday, July 22, 2010 9:26 AM
judgethis: Outside Blankenship lunch: protestors chant "Kill no more! No more profit over people" #MTR
Thursday, July 22, 2010 9:16 AM
judgethis: On way in to Blankenship lunch at press club, labor protestors chanting: "lies and tricks will not divide/ workers standing side by side"
Thursday, July 22, 2010 9:14 AM
judgethis: Ok folks. Its abt to go down here at the Press Club. Stay tuned.
Thursday, July 22, 2010 9:13 AM