Massey Energy CEO Blankenship's anti-environment screed caught on tape

Massey Energy CEO Blankenship's anti-environment screed caught on tape
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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 that NRDC released today.

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 and fuelling of the division between environmental and business concern even further and with neither side ever satisfied with the terms of the cease fire agreement.

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

Massey Energy CEO Blankenship's anti-environment screed caught on tape

Kevin is a contributor and strategic adviser to DeSmogBlog.

He runs the digital marketing agency Spake Media House. Named a “Green Hero” by Rolling Stone Magazine and one of the “Top 50 Tweeters” on climate change and environment issues, Kevin has appeared in major news media outlets around the world for his work on digital campaigning.

Kevin has been involved in the public policy arena in both the United States and Canada for more than a decade. For five years he was the managing editor of DeSmogBlog.com. In this role, Kevin’s research into the “climate denial industry” and the right-wing think tank networks was featured in news media articles around the world. He is most well known for his ground-breaking research into David and Charles Koch’s massive financial investments in the Republican and tea party networks.

Kevin is the first person to be designated a “Certified Expert” on the political and community organizing platform NationBuilder.

Prior to DeSmogBlog, Kevin worked in various political and government roles. He was Senior Advisor to the Minister of State for Multiculturalism and a Special Assistant to the Minister of State for Asia Pacific, Foreign Affairs for the Government of Canada. Kevin also worked in various roles in the British Columbia provincial government in the Office of the Premier and the Ministry of Health.

In 2008 Kevin co-founded a groundbreaking new online election tool called Vote for Environment which was later nominated for a World Summit Award in recognition of the world’s best e-Content and innovative ICT applications.

Kevin moved to Washington, DC in 2010 where he worked for two years as the Director of Online Strategy for Greenpeace USA and has since returned to his hometown of Vancouver, Canada.

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