Don Blankenship

What You Need to Know About the Democrat Who Wants Robert Byrd's Seat
July 20, 2010

West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin, a Democrat, confirmed today that he will run for Robert Byrd’s Senate seat this fall. Chances are he’ll be running against Republican Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito, although she hasn’t formally announced her candidacy yet. So who exactly is Joe Manchin? Here are some quick, essential facts: —Before becoming governor in 2005, Manchin served in the West Virginia state legislature and senate. He was also secretary of state from 2001-2005.

Byrd's Late Coal Conversion
June 29, 2010

I didn't get a chance to mention this yesterday, but Robert Byrd's death definitely jumbles the political landscape for climate/energy legislation—though maybe not in the way most people would assume. For a long time, Byrd had been a staunch coal guy (it's West Virginia, after all) who was firmly opposed to doing anything about global warming.

Don Blankenship Is Right!
April 12, 2010

Here is the real-life Montgomery Burns speaking at an anti-union Labor Day rally last year: 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.

In Blankenship We Trust
April 07, 2010

Don Blankenship, owner of the Upper Big Branch coal mine that was the site of Monday's horrific explosion, is a long-time bete noir of unions, environmentalists, and government regulation of all kinds. Therefore, it is time for conservatives to start rallying to his side. Here's Chris Stirewalt of the Washington Examiner: The day that at least 25 miners were killed in a West Virginia coal mine blast, the U.S.

Old Senator, New Tricks
January 25, 2010

As a rule, politicians in West Virginia don't care for environmentalists. This is, after all, a state that supplies 50 percent of U.S. coal exports, a state where the mining industry is responsible for roughly 30,000 jobs—a state that essentially depends on pollution for its survival. And West Virginia's most prominent coal champion has long been Robert Byrd, who once slammed green critics of mining as "head-in-the-cloud individuals" out to destroy jobs and impoverish the region.