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Jun 30, 2009

Focus:Environment
Action Request:Petition
Location:United States

Please be sure to take ALL (5) Actions linked to in this alert!

Mountaintop removal coal mining is an extremely destructive form of strip mining found in central and southern Appalachia, with some mines as big as the island of Manhattan.

It tears apart communities, poisons water supplies, pollutes the air and destroys our nation's natural heritage – while only making the climate crisis worse. Learn more here. 

Mountaintop Removal Damage 'Irreversible,' Senate Hears  (DEP official only witness to defend practice)

Mountaintop removal coal mining is causing "immense and irreversible" damage to Appalachian hills, streams and forests, members of a U.S. Senate subcommittee were told Thursday.

"We must consider the cost of coal from the cradle to the grave," said Maria Gunnoe, a Boone County native who won the international Goldman Prize for her anti-mining activism. ('Mother' Gunnoe: W.VA Cherokee Mountaintop Removal Activist Wins Prestigious Goldman 'Environmental Nobel' Prize)

"We have the opportunity to stop the annihilation of mountains and people by mountaintop removal and to change the history of energy in this country." (http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2009/06/25-9)

Watch 'America's Most Endangered Mountains' Video Series

Mountaintop removal has already destroyed more than 1.5 million acres of hardwood forest and 1,400 miles of streams in a region that boasts the world's highest diversity of salamanders, crayfishes, and freshwater mussels. It has already blasted over 450 mountains into oblivion in West Virginia, Virginia and Kentucky.
Due to the blasting, noise, and pollution caused by mountaintop removal, Appalachian residents have said they feel they’re living in a war zone

(1) Find out how you are connected to mountaintop removal in the Appalachian Mountains-- & what you can do about it: What's My Connection to Mountaintop Removal?

During election season, then-presidential candidate Barack Obama called this practice an "environmental disaster."

But now, rather than put an end to this disaster, his administration has green-lighted the issuance of permits for mountaintop removal in Appalachia while simultaneously promising "to ensure mining activities will occur in a more environmentally protective way in or near Appalachian streams."
 
There's no environmentally protective way to blow up a mountain and then dump it into a stream.

 
(2) Send the letter below to your congressional representatives
and ask them to pass  

the Appalachia Restoration Act (S. 696) in the Senate &

the Clean Water Protection Act (H.R. 1310) in the House, which would prohibit the dumping of mining waste into streams — effectively ending mountaintop removal coal mining in Appalachia.


In an extraordinary move to disregard a 38-year rap sheet of crimes of pollution, harassment and forced removal of some of our nation’s oldest and most historic communities, and the destruction of over 500 mountains and 1.2 million acres of deciduous hardwood forests in our nation’s carbon sink of Appalachia, the Obama administration has decided to “regulate” mountaintop removal mining operations, not abolish them.

 If the Obama administration truly wanted to “enforce” mountaintop removal regulations and protect American watersheds, drinking water, and communities from catastrophic flooding and toxic blasting, it would simply reverse a 2002 Bush and dirty coal lobby manipulation of the Clean Water Act and restore the original definition of “fill” material to no longer include mining waste.

A growing number of Congress members understands this – and even conservatives like Sen. Lamar Alexander are now shepherding (3)  the Clean Water Protection Act (3) See: http://www.ilovemountains.org/appalachia-restoration-act/

Coal operators in Kentucky and West Virginia have already managed to secure permits for 42 new mountaintop removal projects in a major victory for coal industry.  ("We All Live in the Coal Fields": West Virginians Step Up Protests as EPA OKs New Mountaintop Removal -DemocracyNow! - Jeff Biggers, journalist covering mining in the Appalachians & author of the book "United States of Appalachia," as well as forthcoming Reckoning at Eagle Creek: The Secret Legacy of Coal in the Heartland, discusses the effects of MTR & the latest arrests in Operation Appalachian Spring, the campaign to end MTR.)

Actress Daryl Hannah, Climate Scientist James Hansen Among 30+ Arrested Protesting Mountaintop Removal in West Virginia Speak Out on Democracy Now!, along with Bo Webb, local community activist & former president of Coal River Mountain Watch

(5) Support Wind, Save a Mountain A 2007 wind potential study and the subsequent economic study found that it is possible to place 328 MW of wind energy on Coal River Mountain. That’s enough to power 70,000 West Virginia Homes and to provide both permanent jobs and $1.7 million in taxes to the county every year.

Unfortunately, Massey Energy is applying for permits to mountaintop removal mine the mountain which would destroy the wind potential. This is the last mountain left standing in the area. (5) Please help save it.  http://www.coalriverwind.org/

Visibility: Everyone
Posted: Tuesday June 30, 2009, 12:14 am
Tags: industry mining dust coal removal toxic mountaintop sludge silica blasting

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LucyKaleido ScopeEyes
female, age 59, committed relationship
Expat New Yorker, Paris, France
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