DON BLANKENSHIP

Last week (October 17) I spoke for something like the 28th time at the Tug Valley Mine Institute. It was a humbling experience for me. I want to personally thank each and every one that attended.

Many in the audience worked for and with me for many years. Others were there because they wanted to meet me for the first time. Perhaps others were there just to see what controversial things I might say. But the respect and sense of homage was on full display.

Coal people are simply quality people. They want to work. They are proud. They are humble. They accept hard times with grace and civility. They bear the angst their government causes them without loud protests or displaying their anger. They don't board Greenpeace boats or lie about the effects of another man's work.

The Mine Institute's members and thousands more Americans like them, only want an opportunity to work and to care for their families and to dream. They don't ask for government handouts or praise or accolades. They only want the chance to make it if they can.

There is no way I can fully express my appreciation for these industry leaders. They don't realize it, but they give me the strength and conviction to speak out against the greed, ignorance, and lies that are taking away their dreams. I only wish I could do more for them and those that depend on them.

We should all keep in mind the thousands who have lost their jobs and dreams due to a government gone wild. A government that manufactures lies about as quick as it prints money. A government that does more for our country's enemies and illegals than it does for working Americans.

Thank you Coal Miners for all that you do for all of us.

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