OLDEN, W.Va. (AP) - Massey Energy chief Don Blankenship blasted
climate-change legislation Monday at a Labor Day concert and rally
in southern West Virginia.
Blankenship says he wanted to show people at the event how
government regulation is hurting the coal industry, driving up
energy prices and making the country less competitive. He says the
idea is for people who attended to educate their neighbors and
friends and encourage people to speak out.
Virginia-based Massey, which operates mines in West Virginia,
Kentucky and Virginia, was the lead sponsor of the rally, which
Blankenship said cost about $1 million to stage.
Organizers had predicted the event, headlined by country star
Hank Williams Jr., could draw as many as 100,000 people to a
reclaimed Logan County strip mine. A Massey spokesman estimated the
afternoon crowd at 70,000 during Williams' performance. A steady
rain that developed near the end of Williams' set sent many in the
crowd heading for home.
Headlining the event were Fox News personality Sean Hannity and
Williams, while rocker Ted Nugent served as master of ceremonies
and played briefly.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)