Don Blankenship: YouTube Star

When we found the video footage from Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship's now infamous speech in West Virginia last month, we didn't quite know what to expect.  Now that the video has been viewed by thousands and thousands of people on YouTube, it's pretty apparent that we weren't alone in our reaction. 

At ThinkProgress, "The Wonk Room" summed up his bizarre rant saying:

"Don Blankenship, the 'scariest polluter in the United States,' is the CEO of A.T. Massey Coal Company, an egregious polluter, union buster, and extreme practitioner of mountaintop removal mining. Blankenship also happens to sit on the board of directors of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which promotes his virulent brand of right-wing global warming denial."

As Kevin Grandia notes in The Huffington Post in a post titled "Big Coal CEO's Anti-Environment Screed Caught on Tape":

"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."

The IEEE Spectrum's EnergyWise blog is even blunter:

"The Natural Resources Defense Council embarrassed the coal industry last week by acquiring and distributing video of Don Blankenship, CEO of number-four U.S. coal producer Massey Energy, proudly professing his continued denial that climate change is real."

Over at the MoJoBlog at Mother Jones, Jonathan Stein writes:

"There's an awful lot that is crazy about this speech by Don Blankenship, CEO of Massey Energy, the fourth largest coal company in the country, and member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce board of directors. He says 'greeniacs' are trying to take over the country. He says that people who disagree with his retrograde views on global warming and energy (climate change doesn't exist, duh) are 'communists' and 'atheists.' He compares the editors of a newspaper that has criticized him to Osama bin Laden.  But my favorite part is when Blankenship suggests that somehow third world countries have got themselves in their unfortunate states by trying too hard to conserve energy and live sustainably ...  Whatever you say, chief."

Perhaps our favorite write-ups came from Lloyd Alter on the Science & Technology blog at TreeHugger:

"It really is quite extraordinary. We quoted Don Blankenship of Massey Energy earlier, but NRDC has found the tapes and edited highlights for us short attention span types. Essentially, anyone who thinks climate change is real and is against more use of coal is a communist, an atheist, the enemy and in league with Osama bin Laden. Watch the killer minute above ... Really, between Blankenship and the carolling lumps of coal, these guys should be run out of town on a rail. They are evil, manipulative trolls."

You might think that Blankenship would have learned his lesson here, but there's no sign this Big Coal CEO is planning to tone down his incendiary rhetoric any time soon - after all, someone's got to make up for "The greeniacs [who] are taking over the world" and censoring the poor folks of the Chamber." 

We look forward to finding more video like this to share in 2009. Stay tuned!