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Monday, April 12, 2010

Dake Says: Take off my flag- you unpatriotic buffoon!

Ken Huckins Says:
“When facshism comes it will be wrapped in a flag and packin a bible”

The death toll from Massey Energy’s Upper Big Branch mine explosion last week has reached a total of 29 miners, the worst coal disaster in 40 years. When the disaster occurred, Massey was contesting millions of dollars in major safety violations levied against the mine. At his Labor Day anti-union rally last year, Massey CEO Don Blankenship attacked the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), claiming it “seeks power over coal miners.” He mocked both “Washington politicians” and local elected officials who attempt to ensure miner safety, calling their efforts “as silly as global warming”:
We also endure a Mine Safety and Health Administration that seeks power over coal miners versus improving their safety and their health. As someone who has overseen the mining of more coal than anyone else in the history of central Appalachia, I know that the safety and health of coal miners is my most important job. I don’t need Washington politicians to tell me that, and neither do you. But I also know — I also know Washington and state politicians have no idea how to improve miner safety. The very idea that they care more about coal miner safety than we do is as silly as global warming.

Don Blankenship — who uses his position on the boards of the National Mining Association and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to promote his conspiracy theories about global warming — said he spent one million dollars to put together the “Friends of America” right-wing rally and rock concert in Holden, WV on September 7, 2009, which starred Ted Nugent, Hank Williams, Jr., and Fox News host Sean Hannity. In 2009, Blankenship also complained that “politicians get emotional” about disasters and establish “nonsensical” safety rules. LinkHere

Michael Winship
Senior writer at Bill Moyers Journal on PBS

The high cost of energy in America was paid in human lives this week, with the deaths of more than two dozen miners in a massive explosion at the Upper Big Branch coal mine in West Virginia. It's the worst U.S. mine disaster in four decades.
Upper Big Branch is owned by Massey Energy Company, which operates 47 mines in central Appalachia. According to the Los Angeles Times, it employs nearly 6000 and in 2009 reported revenues of $2.3 billion, with a net income of $104.4 million.
At the center of this week's catastrophe is Massey's president and CEO Don Blankenship, a man so reviled nowadays he had to be escorted away by police when he and other company officials tried to address a group of distraught family and friends outside the Upper Big Branch mine in the early morning hours after the explosion. The crowd hurled invective -- and a chair.
Blankenship hates unions (Upper Big Branch is a non-union mine), thinks global warming is a figment of our imaginations and that those who do believe in climate change are crazy; supports destructive, mountain-top-removal mining; serves on the board of the conservative, free market U.S. Chamber of Commerce and now, lucky us, shares his pearls of right-wing wisdom via Twitter. "America doesn't need Green jobs," he tweeted pithily last month, "but Red, White, & Blue ones."
David Roberts of the environmental magazine Grist described him as "the scariest polluter in the U.S. ...The guy is evil and I don't use that world lightly."
Just one example of Massey Energy's earlier history of environmental malfeasance was described in a May 2003 issue of Forbes Magazine: LinkHere

Coal Country the movie

"Mourn for the dead and fight like hell for the living"
Mother Jones

Senator Byrd

"Let me be clear about one thing - this is not about
the coal industry or their hard-working coal miners. This is about
companies that blatantly disregard human life and safety
because of greed. That is never acceptable."

“My heartfelt prayers and deepest condolences go out to all those who have
lost loved ones in the worst mining tragedy since 1984,We grieve for those
who have died, and we continue to pray for their families.

Clearly we must get to the bottom of what happened, how and who was
responsible. And we must and will hold those parties accountable.

At least 25 coal miners have died inside a mine that has over time
amassed scores of safety violations, including 57 citations just last month.
West Virginia’s coal miners are the backbone of a great nation that
depends on their work. They deserve nothing less than a safe working
environment, and an employer who respects and values their safety.

We must reexamine the health and safety laws we have put into place
and what more may need to be done to avoid future loss of life.

Let me also pay homage to our mine rescue units and first responders.
These mine rescue units have world-class training and skills, and I commend
their bravery as they search to rescue and recover their brothers.”

Senator Robert C. Byrd- 4-8-10

"Such arrogance suggests a blatant disregard for the
impact of their mining practices on our communities, residents
and particularly our children. These are children's lives
we are talking about."

"If Massey were not operating near Marsh Fork Elementary, we
would not be debating what to do about moving these young
students someplace safer. This is not the taxpayers' burden to
remedy. This is Massey Energy's responsibility to address."

"Let me be clear about one thing - this is not about
the coal industry or their hard-working coal miners. This is about
companies that blatantly disregard human life and safety
because of greed. That is never acceptable."

"At a time when coal is under such close scrutiny, coal companies
operating in West Virginia should be working together to put their
best foot forward. For the sake of the entire coal industry, Massey
Energy should strive to be a better and more responsible corporate
citizen. And for the sake of the kids, they should address these serious
environmental concerns at Marsh Fork Elementary immediately."

Senator Robert C. Byrd - 10-7-09


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