BlankenshipPoor Don Blankenship. The Massey Energy CEO had to sit quietly through a Senate hearing yesterday while the head of the United Mine Workers called his company’s safety performance “deplorable,” and West Virginia’s finger-wagging, Democratic senator, Robert Byrd cried “shame” on Massey’s “alarming record.”

But in his first appearance before Congress since 29 Massey miners died in the Big Branch Mine explosion last month, the unchastened Blankenship fired back.

On Massey’s safety record — 23 dead miners in the 10 years prior to the Big Branch blowup: “About average.”

On putting profits above miner safety? Safety has always been his “#1 priority.”    

On what caused the explosion: “We do not know whether the ventilation system played a role in the explosion, and we do not know whether the modifications to that system demanded by MSHA [the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration] played a role in the explosion.”

Chutzpah aside, ole King Coal’s glory days are probably behind him. Some Massey shareholders are calling for his resignation, the company’s stock has plummeted almost 40 percent in the past month, and his once hyperactive Twitter account has gone sadly silent. Which means … no more world-class tweets or rants about global warming. Here’s our favs:

Drum roll, please.

  1. “America doesn’t need green jobs — but Red, White & Blue ones.”
  2. “I don’t like to see trade associations refer to global warming as ‘an issue’ because it supports the idea that something needs to be done about it.”
  3. “How can the U.S. create jobs if it’s being forced to reduce CO2 emissions to the level of 3rd world countries?”
  4. “Senator Lindsey Graham says there’s a ‘carbon problem.’ Wrong. There’s a ‘Graham problem.’ His carbon tax is a nightmare”
  5. “‘You lie!’ should be shouted in Copenhagen. The world’s average temperature has not changed this century.”
  6. “WWII ended on 8/15/45, as we remember. America won with tanks and ships made with coal, not windmills.”
  7. “We’ve made our boilers, and our refrigerators, and our air conditioners so efficient that we actually reduced carbon emissions.”
  8. “Some fear we are entering a new Ice Age. We must demand that more coal be burned to save the Earth from Global Cooling.”
  9. “Global warming is a hoax and a Ponzi scheme.”
  10. “Turn down your thermostats? Buy a smaller car? Conserve? I have spent quite a bit of time in Russia and China and that’s the first stage. You go from having your own car to carpooling to riding the bus to mass transit. You eventually get to where you’re walking. You go from your own apartment and bathroom to sharing kitchens with four families. That’s what socialism and the elimination of capitalism and free enterprise is all about.”