Old King Coal Is an Especially Dirty Old Soul [Dirty Business]
An unauthorized camera was videotaping Don Blankenship.He’s the CEO of Massey Energy, the fourth largest coal company in the US and the largest “mountaintop removal” company. He said, “Take a picture of me; you’re liable to get shot.”
In an authorized interview for the film “Dirty Business,” Blankenship states that environmentalists “will say almost anything to promote their own jobs.” Suspecting that this claim can fairly apply to anyone with a stake in his or her own agenda, what should we think when a coal magnate carefully states that coal mining causes “no damage downstream of consequence” or that mountaintop removal is “safe and environmentally sound”?
Blankenship, like many rich and powerful people who attract scrutiny, also finds himself equivocating that while there may be claims of damage, people must balance this against the benefits.The benefits are huge and almost entirely illuminated by proclaiming that the cheapest way to support our energy needs and prosperity is coal.
Cheap has never been more expensive.Touting “clean coal” only adds to the bill. See “Dirty Business” for a compelling swirl through today’s future-choking coal dust.“Dirty Business” is heavier reporting than most films at the Wild & Scenic Film Festival, although it reaches some practical optimism as counterpoint.Like so many films at the festival, “Dirty Business” shines a light on the full cost of doing business. These are costs that corporations “externalize.” This means somebody else (guess who) pays for them, in exploited, compromised, and ruined lives.