CEO Of Coal Miner Massey Energy Blasts Climate Bill, Government At Industry Rally In W.Va.

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Holden, 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.)

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