"You can't be a 'Friend of Coal' unless you're a friend of coal miners," he said. "You want to call yourself a friend of coal, then get off your damn butt and stand with us."
Sen. Joe Manchin topped him with "Where I come from, we have a saying: You can't shine crap - and this is crap. You can't make it look good, you can't make it smell good, and you sure as hell can't make it taste good."
Rep. Nick Joe Rahall, who has sponsored legislation pertaining to retiree benefits, bashed Republicans: "It will be an uphill battle, especially in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives," he said.
The UMW contends Peabody spun off its union mines to Patriot to shed its benefit obligation, and that Pa-triot was set up to fail. Peabody and Patriot deny that.
Peabody contends it has discharged its obligations. Patriot thinks otherwise.
It's a complex high-stakes matter for miners, retirees, companies, bondholders and communities.
It will take a court to sort it all out, but the reality is that nobody benefits if wealth creation ends.