Jason Barton

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Archive for the ‘Robert Kennedy Jr.’ tag

Debate crowd expresses feelings: Coal workers come out in support of industry

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Here’s some follow up on a recent post about the debate between lawyer and environmentalist Robert Kennedy Jr., and Ron Blankenship, CEO of Massey Energy.

Jan 22 – McClatchy-Tribune Regional News – Billy Wolfe Charleston Daily Mail, W.Va.

Although attendees of Thursday night’s debate between Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship and environmentalist Robert Kennedy Jr. were asked to remain silent during the discussion, those who watched the debate on a projector screen in the Eddie King Gymnasium next door were free to express their feelings.


Dressed in their work clothes, dozens of coal industry workers filed into the upper bleachers in the gymnasium, creating a field of blue coveralls and orange reflective mining gear.

Several of Blankenship’s comments received loud cheering, while the applause from Kennedy’s supporters was more subdued.


Melissa Waage, Washington, D.C., campaign manager for the Natural Resources Defense Council, was one of a small group of Kennedy supporters to watch the debate in the gymnasium. She said Blankenship failed to provide enough substantive data to back up his arguments.


But Patrick Bruffy, a 33-year veteran of the coal industry, said Blankenship was right to defend the environmental stewardship of coal producers.

“Some of the most beautiful places I have been to in this state are reclaimed strip mines,” he said.

Read the entire article here.

Written by Jason

January 30th, 2010 at 11:44 am

Mountaintop Mining: Coal Baron Debates a Kennedy

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If the damage to water quality is as bad from mountain top mining as many say it is, the paychecks these miners earn could have to go to their rising health care costs.

Coal baron vs. Kennedy: Activists, industry in mountaintop mining debate for wide US audience

By TIM HUBER and TOM BREEN Associated Press Writers
CHARLESTON, W.Va. January 22, 2010 (AP)

The real audience for the debate between coal baron Don Blankenship and conservationist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. was not the hundreds who packed the audience at the University of Charleston.


For Blankenship, mountaintop mining puts food on the table and mortgage checks in the mail. For Kennedy, it defaces majestic scenery, pollutes water and shatters the quiet country existence of people who’ve called the mountains home for generations.


“If we can’t have intelligent discourse about the most important issues we face, where are we?” he said. “If we can help people understand it’s a hard issue, that’s a major step forward.”

Read the entire article here.