Appalachia Rising Uniting Celebrities, Appalachians, and Scientists for the Abolition of Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining.
WHITESVILLE, W.Va – What do actress Ashley Judd and Vietnam-war-veteran Bo Webb have in common? Judd, a world-renowned actress, and Webb, now an unrelenting grassroots activist fighting to keep his mountain community alive, are part of the growing coalition organizing Appalachia Rising, a mountaintop removal abolition movement gathering and day of action in Washington D.C., September 25-27, 2010.
Thank you, West Virginia
4.20.10 — By Michael A. Fuoco, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
One week ago this evening I returned from six physically and emotionally grueling days covering the Upper Big Branch mine disaster in Montcoal, W.Va. Since then, I keep thinking of the 29 brave souls whose time on Earth ended deep beneath it. I pray they didn’t suffer. I think of the family and friends left to mourn them. I pray their suffering is somehow salved. I think of the kindness bestowed upon me and other journalists as the tragedy unfolded around us. I pray karma rewards them. Read the article.
Save Coal River Mountain!
10.26.09 — According to iLoveMountains, Massey Energy has begun blasting on Coal River Mountain in southern West Virginia. The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection has stated that the mining operation on the mountain is “actively moving coal.” The Brushy Fork impoundment is an enormous retention pond holding 8.2 billion gallons of toxic coal slurry waste. If the impoundment were to fail due to the blasting, hundreds of lives will be lost and thousands more will be in jeopardy from an enormous slurry flood. 6,000 Acres To Be Destroyed: Massey’s plans for the mountaintop removal operation would destroy over 6,000 acres of Coal River Mountain and create 18 different valley fills, devastating the Clear Fork watershed. Over 10 square miles of the most bio-diverse ecosystem in the United States will be destroyed forever, affecting the lives of the local residents by destroying their homeland and polluting their air and water.
Coal mining backers line up to oppose federal proposal
10.16.09 PITTSBURGH, PA — According to the Post-Gazette, more than 300 people, most pro-coal mining, turned out in Pittsburgh last night to strongly oppose a federal proposal that would end a decades-old streamlined permitting process that’s been used to facilitate mountaintop removal mining in West Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee.
Mining Companies Hit Wall on Mountaintop Blasting
10.08.2009 WHITESVILLE, W.Va.—According to the Wall Street Journal, the coal-mining industry is trying to regroup in the wake of a move by the Obama administration to curtail mountaintop mining to extract coal.
Hearings on mountaintop removal mining scheduled for Pittsburgh
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Six public hearings across the Appalachian coalfields next week, including one in Pittsburgh (on Thursday, October 15th), figure to be the latest battleground in the fight over the future of a practice known as mountaintop removal mining, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
EPA holds up coal-mining permits as firms fume
September 30, 2009. Steve James with Reuters reports that “mining companies accused the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday of ignoring America’s need for affordable energy and hurting workers in a poor region of the country by delaying permits for proposed surface, or “mountaintop,” mines in Appalachia.”
The Obama Administration and the EPA protect 79 Mountaintops
September 11, 2009. Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency placed all 79 mountaintop removal permits they were reviewing on temporary reprieve. This represents the biggest step ever taken toward reining in the destruction of the Appalachian Mountains by mountaintop removal coal mining. See the list of pending permits on I Love Mountains website.
WV Governor is agitated with the EPA’s aggressive posture toward permits
According to Metro News, Governor Joe Manchin says he could see the EPA action on Arch Coal’s Spruce Number 1 mine coming soon after Secretary Lisa Jackson took over as head of the federal agency.
A Far Better Use for Mountains
A Chattanooga Times editorial reports that Tennessee’s senior Senator, Lamar Alexander, has introduced legislation in the Senate to ban the practice of mountain-top removal mining. Companion legislation has also been introduced in the House by Rep. Ben Cardin, D-Maryland. The plot has thickened according to an article in knoxvillebiz.com.
Experts: Coal industry facing dismal future
“7/28/2009. BLUEFIELD, Va. — The most significant message out of Tuesday’s Coal Summit was that making a living from the coal industry probably won’t get easier any time soon and energy costs will likely go up…”
Take action NOW on in support of the Appalachia Restoration Act.
The Appalachia Restoration Act (S. 696) is a bill in the U.S. Senate which will sharply reduce mountaintop removal coal mining and protect clean drinking water for many of our nation’s cities. It will protect the quality of life for Appalachian coalfield residents who face frequent catastrophic flooding and pollution or loss of drinking water as a result of mountaintop removal coal mining. Contact your state Senators today and ask them to become a sponsor.
Tell the Army Corps of Engineers that you support ending the streamlined permitting process for mountaintop removal projects:
In mid-July 2009, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposed eliminating a streamlined permitting process — known as Nationwide Permit 21, or NWP 21– which allows coal companies to seek quick approval for their mountaintop removal coal mining projects. Roughly one-third of mountaintop removal coal mining projects are permitted under nationwide permits, which means that eliminating the streamlined rule will help slow the pace of destruction in Appalachia. The Army Corps of Engineers is accepting public comments for the next 30 days on its proposal, and they need to hear from you. NOW.
From Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s op-ed in the July 3, 2009 edition of The Washington Post:
“Mining syndicates are detonating 2,500 tons of explosives each day — the equivalent of a Hiroshima bomb weekly — to blow up Appalachia’s mountains and extract sub-surface coal seams….
“On this continent, only Appalachia’s rich woodlands survived the Pleistocene ice ages that turned the rest of North America into a treeless tundra. King Coal is now accomplishing what the glaciers could not — obliterating the hemisphere’s oldest, most biologically dense and diverse forests.”
Senate Begins Hearings on Appalachian Restoration Act
June 29, 2009. The Appalachian Restoration Act (S 696) is the Senate version of the Clean Water Protection Act, which would outlaw the dumping of mining waste into streams and undo the Bush administration’s 2002 gutting of the Clean Water Act. An overflow crowd of activists and coalfield residents turned out to show their support for Senate action to end the destructive practice of mountaintop removal.
Bush’s Final Push
“The Interior Department has advanced a proposal that would ease restrictions on dumping mountaintop mining waste near rivers and streams, modifying protections that have been in place, though often circumvented, for a quarter-century.”
The Battle over Coal River Moutain
“Lorelei Scarboro loves to talk about the wild turkeys and bears living on West Virginia’s Coal River Mountain. She watches them from the home her husband built when they were first married. But Scarboro is convinced it could all become a casualty of blasting that could begin on the mountaintop that is just 100 yards from the family cemetery where her husband is buried.”
Firms to limit W.Va. mountaintop removal mining
“A trio of coal companies has agreed to temporarily limit operations at three mountaintop removal mines opposed by environmentalists.”
Heard Off the Street: Massey Energy estimates $240 million judgment will cost it $16 million
“When Massey Energy [Ticker: MEE] Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Don Blankenship went over the Richmond, Va., company’s fourth-quarter and 2007 results with analysts recently, most of the questions he fielded concerned the outlook for coal prices, operating costs and production levels.”
Second Justice Recuses Himself in W.Va. Case
“A second West Virginia Supreme Court judge has recused himself from a case involving Massey Energy, saying the behavior of Massey CEO Don Blankenship has “created a cancer in the affairs of this court.”Justice Larry Starcher, a blunt-spoken critic of the more than $3 million Mr. Blankenship spent on the 2004 Supreme Court election, joins Chief Justice Elliott Maynard on the sidelines as the court rehears a case involving a $75 million judgment against Massey.”
Motion Ties W. Virginia Justice to Coal Executive
“A justice of the West Virginia Supreme Court and a powerful coal-company executive met in Monte Carlo in the summer of 2006, sharing several meals even as the executive’s companies were appealing a $50 million jury verdict against them to the court…”