Tuesday, March 09, 2010

National Call-In Day to Stop Mountaintop Removal

I've been familiar with mountaintop removal (the practice of blasting the tops off mountains and dumping them in streams to get at coal seams maybe a foot thick) for years now. But this week it became personal.

I'm here at the 5th Annual End Mountaintop Removal Week in Washington, joining residents from the coalfields of Appalachia in meetings with our Congressmen, gathering support for the Clean Water Protection Act (HR 1310) and the Appalachia Restoration Act (S 696). This may be the 5th year, but the momentum is tangible. We have 166 co-sponsors for the CWPA, bi-partisan support in both Houses and committee chairmen who are receptive to moving this forward. To build even more momentum, today is a National Call-In Day to urge your Congresspeople to support these bills. Their offices are hearing from us in person and need to hear from even more constituents.

Please, take the two minutes to call your Rep.

Here are some of the most powerful points I've heard from local residents to communicate with members of Congress.



  • Coal jobs are declining. Mountaintop removal displaces deep mining jobs by replacing people with giant machines.


  • Mountaintop Removal drives away jobs. What business wants to start up in a place with undrinkable water, coal dust and blasting debris falling from the air and buildings that develop cracks in their foundations from the blasting? As you can see above, mountaintop removal and poverty are highly correlated. Coal is not the answer for economic revitalization.


  • People cannot live without clean water. When your water is brown, or black or red, don't drink it. Don't shower in it (the mist gets into your lungs). Appalachia once has some of the cleanest, sweetest water in the country, because the mountains and their forests act as giant water filters. When coal companies shove mountaintops into streams, not only does this pollute the streams, but it destroys the natural filtration.

  • Support is needed from outside the region. The almost non-existent enforcement of environmental protections, intimidation from coal companies and elected officials who were bought and paid for by coal money have worked to silence this issue. Appalachia deserves to enjoy its rich natural resources, not destroy them forever. Mountaintop removal has already destroyed an area the size of Delaware. How many more states are we willing to sacrifice?
Please call your Rep. We can change this.

Cross-posted at It's Getting Hot In Here

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