07/21/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Coal Exec Challenges Climate Scientist To Debate (VIDEO)

Massey Energy President Don Blankenship challenged one of the world's top climate experts to a debate on global warming this week after learning NASA scientist James Hansen would be attending an anti-mountaintop removal protest in West Virginia led by Bobby Kennedy Jr.

The "Charleston Gazette" reports that Blankenship said he's:

"...More than willing to invite Dr. Hansen to have a factual discussion about coal mining in West Virginia, which provides thousands of jobs in the state and provides low-cost energy to millions of Americans. I look forward to hearing from Dr. Hansen, as I'm sure a productive dialogue - not publicity arrests - is what Dr. Hansen, a university professor who values an exchange of ideas, surely, must desire."

Hansen is best known for his climate research and the testimony he gave to Congress in 1988 that helped put global warming at the forefront of environmental activism. Blankenship, on the other hand, doesn't believe global warming exists: