Monday, August 20, 2007

Please Help...........



How You Can Help.........

My dear readers, there will not be many times that I bring up 'issues', so to speak, that I urge you all to act on. It's not really the purpose of my blog. But Mountaintop Mining is something that is so wrong and so destructive that I have to get the word out. It is devastating my part of the world. I think until we picture this happening in our own communities and not think of it as someone else's problem, nothing will be done. Because it's happening in some of the poorest and most isolated areas of Appalachia, the local people's voices are not being heard over King Coal's and it is a practice that has been veiled in secrecy. But there is something we can all do right now.

The Clean Water Act was enacted by Congress in 2002 to “restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the Nation’s waters,” and prohibited the dumping of material into waterways for the purpose of waste disposal. In 2002, the Secretary of the Army changed the definition of “fill material” in order to include mining waste. Since debris from mountaintop removal is no longer considered “waste,” coal companies are dumping millions of tons of mine waste into streams, so far burying more than 1000 miles of streams and headwaters...

Representatives Frank Pallone and Christopher Shays introduced a bill that reestablishes the original intent of the Clean Water Act: to protect our waterways, not give industry permission to pollute and bury them. By the end of the 109th congress of 2006, the bill had 77 co-sponsors. If this bill gets passed, it will be a huge blow to the practice of Mountaintop Mining. Please go here to see if your representative is co-sponsoring the bill, and if not, call or write them to urge them to. Sometimes it takes more than one phone call or letter.

Also, our representatives will be home during the month of August. I have set up a meeting with mine while he is home, although he is opposed to the Act. I live in the main battlefield, where Coal Money runs our politics, but I will still continue to bug. If you live in TN, WV, VA, or KY, you'll have to fight extra hard..... and setting up a meeting in person, as a constituent, would be great. You can contact Appalachian Voices, and they can help you in this process.
This is something we all can do as a collective blogging community. Also, if you feel led, please re-post about this to help spread the word. If you do, let me know and I will link to it.

Who's Spreading the word...........

19 comments:

Nate said...

I commend your posts on mountain-top removal.

I am a native of southern WV and recently moved to Blacksburg, VA.

It is so amazing the differences in mountains from "back-home" to here. I have recently visited the Beckley, WV area and it just broke my heart! The hills and valleys (hollars) would be so beautiful without the surface mining.

Luckily, my mother and father's residences are not near the mines. It is Tolkien-like to sit there on their porches looking at the hills.

Great work with the site!

bluemountainmama said...

thank you, nate! yes, the beckley area has been hard hit....just in the past 5 or so years the landscape has changed there.

it IS very heartbreaking to drive through the coalfields of appalachia....to see the devastation that has taken place.

thanks for stopping by......

L.L. Barkat said...

I'd like to try to get to this tomorrow or later this week. Please feel free to check back with me. A week-long half-day commitment could easily make me forget, and I would rather remember.

Jenny said...

This is just unbelievable.....

Thank you Amy for taking the time to actually meet with Rep. Mollahan. I've not yet registered to vote here in WV, but I will be calling and writing to let Rep. Mollahan know the opinions of a future constituent.

This whole mountain top removal leaves me speechless and fuming!

Brandy said...

Hey, I'm new here--Jenny pointed me your way. I'll have to do some more reading of your blog. I'm from Smyth County, VA and it seems you're not too far away. Keep up the thought-provoking posts! :-)

Brandy
--Where the Lilies Bloom

bluemountainmama said...

l.l......thanks. i'll send you a friendly reminder. :)

jenny- rep. mollohan needs to be bombarded as does sen. byrd and our governor....they are allowing this to continue. thanks for committing to do it. and thanks for helping spread the word. do you still have a blog? i can't access your profile.

brandy...thank you for stopping by. i've heard of smyth county, va, but am not sure exactly where it is. what towns are in that county?

Brandy said...

Marion and Chilhowie. It's West of Wytheville and East of Abingdon--those are bigger towns. :-)

bluemountainmama said...

brandy....i know where that is now. i'm very familiar with abingdon and wytheville and i go by marion and chilhowie when i go home to NC. a beautiful area!

Moi said...

another thought provoking post, blue....keep it going. people have to stand up to get their voices heard ..i'm so glad u are not one of the silent majority!!

my classes start from next week :(

Moi said...

Just finished reading this in today's NY Times.....
i hope your efforts reap results, blue!

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/23/us/23coal.html?ex=1188532800&en=b2b66778ce8bfb36&ei=5070

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/23/us/
23coal.html?ex=1188532800&en=b2b66778
ce8bfb36&ei=5070

bluemountainmama said...

thanks, moi! i just sent a (well, about 20) e-mails to the whitehouse after reading that! oh....how my heart is breaking!!!!!!

Moi said...

i can feel yore FRUSTRATION , blue.......i had a sinking feeling when i read the article.....damn these lobbyists and damn the politicians....they mess around with someone's homeland and almost always get away with it ...the ordinary citizen tries and do all he can to save the environment and in one fell swoop they destroy it all!!! isn't there anything like comeuppance in this world ???

and as if echoing your sentiments, Pablo Neruda wrote , "I grew up in this town, my poetry was born between the hill and the river, it took its voice from the rain, and like the timber, it steeped itself in the forests."

beautiful evocative words, aren't they!!!

i really wish and hope that citizens' voice is heard as it's ought to in a true democracy

bluemountainmama said...

very evocative words, moi....thanks for sharing......

Kalyan said...

I can understand your mind....Wishing you all the best in your fight...!

Anna said...

Hey girl....I am so glad that you post about this. Otherwise, I would have no idea about it. Miss ya!
:)

Rosie said...

Great post about a very important issue to all of us in Appalachia. I've got a really full schedule through the first week in September, but afterwards I'll try to do something on it. They don't really have this where I am and I haven't made the trek north to see the destruction. So...may entail a road trip for me.

L.L. Barkat said...

I checked it out and none of my representatives have this on their radar. I'll try to take time week after next to help put it there. In the meantime, I did do a post on Green Inventions. I hope it helps spread the word and produce change in your area.

bluemountainmama said...

thanks so much, laura!

June said...

This is the first time I've actually seen this. The view from the air really makes the issue real. I'm moved to action.