Thursday, August 16, 2007

(Mountaintop Removal is an atrocity that is taking place here in my beloved Appalachian mountains. It's a cheaper way to remove coal that basically eliminates the coal miner. But in the process, it is destroying the landscape and lives of people in rural Appalachia. Flying over some parts of West Virginia and Kentucky, you would think you were flying over a war zone. Please help me spread the word. Here is an e-mail I received and ways that you can help.)

Before Mountaintop Mining........After.........


Today, I want to tell you about a place that is ground zero in the fight to stop mountaintop removal coal mining..... a place called Coal River Mountain.

Located in westernmost Raleigh County, West Virginia, Coal River Mountain is under threat from Massey Energy. Massey has applied for two mountaintop removal permits, and is considering a third, that would destroy nearly 6,000 acres of Coal River Mountain, effectively decapitating it. They would fill 18 Appalachian valleys with toxic coal mining waste and destroy the tallest peaks ever to be mined in West Virginia.

But a coalition of grassroots organizations, led by Coal River Mountain Watch, have joined together to protect Coal River Mountain - and bring the attention of the nation to the ongoing tragedy that is mountaintop removal coal mining.

Effort to stop the Coal River Mountain project is gaining momentum at the local level. Just last week, more than 100 local citizens filled the bleachers at a public hearing held by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection at the Clear Fork Elementary School to speak their minds about the massive proposal.There has never been such a turnout to a public hearing on a mine permit in West Virginia... but even more incredibly, every single citizen who spoke, spoke in opposition to the mine.There are many reasons that local citizens oppose the mine: it will pollute their drinking water, heighten the risk of local flooding, and destroy the mountains and the beautiful landscape that have been their family home for as many as nine generations.The mine, too, would destroy the long-term economic future of Coal River Mountain. As many citizens said at the hearing, for just a few years worth of jobs and a few years worth of coal, the mine would wipe out the opportunity to build a wind power facility that could provide long-term jobs and enough power to meet the needs of more than 90,000 homes forever.

Yet despite the united - and, at the hearing, unanimous - opposition to the plan to destroy Coal River Mountain, local citizens hold little hope that their testimony alone will stop the mine - because the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection has never denied a permit application for a mountaintop removal mine. Never.

Even though most Americans would never support the destruction of this beautiful mountain and irreplaceable landscape, the people living near Coal River Mountain believe that their mountain will be destroyed because most Americans simply don't know what's happening in the hills and hollows of Appalachia.

There really is no such thing as clean coal...... to learn more about Mountaintop Removal and how you can help, go to Ilovemountains.org.

10 comments:

Moi said...

oh i sure love mountains....just finished signing it, Blue and will let other friends know too....its dreadful how we are consuming Earth and destroying nature at such rapid speed and dont seem to care about the world we'll be leaving behind for future generations to come!!

Kudos on a great post.....

busybusymomma said...

Wow, that is awful! :( I swear, it seems like all these companies care about is the Almighty Dollar.

I'm checking out that site right now...

photowannabe said...

I'm going to the site after I write this.
This just goes against everything I believe in. In fact it really angers me.
I'm afraid I knew nothing about this whole situation before reading your blog.

bluemountainmama said...

thanks girls....for heading over and reading more about it.

sue...it angers me, too....and i think rightly so. it is a crime against nature in its deepest sense.

Moi said...

Thank u blue, wish u the same too....
have a safe and happy weekend...we are off to Key west again!!! :)

Anna said...

Hey! Hope that you have a good weekend! :) And you are right...you should reconignize that image from yesterday...

:)

Thanks for your emails...I have enjoyed hearing from you and catching up!

Kalyan said...

This is an atrocity, which seems is happening in every part of the world. In India too, lots of mountains like this are simply vanishing for coal and limestone mining and there is a place today, where it just looks like plane land at an altitude of 1500 meters and the mountain tops are simply not there now and it looks like barren land, the local people because of their livelihood do not care about the mountains...so the sooner the authorities act, the better it will be to protect these beauties, which I simply love!

kirsten said...

I've seen a couple documentaries on mountaintop removal in your region & they just make me positively sick to my stomach. The reason is twofold: how can anyone (or any corporation, for that matter) justify raping the landscape like this? I can't wrap my head around it. The second reason is harder to admit ... what am I doing/buying/consuming that keeps these guys going?

Thanks for drawing additional attention to this issue. Your heart & mine often beat the same, I think.

Thank you, friend.

Mike said...

Kirsten hit the nail on the head. Until every American can change what we expect...air conditioning...heat....plastics....pharmaceuticals.....autos....the list goes on and on, companies will continue to find ways to make a buck. If it is cheaper to lop the top of a mountain off rather than dig shafts they will do it to maximize profits. We expect returns on our stocks, 401k's, and mutual funds. They are doing what they think is the prudent thing. Unfortunately until someone like you comes along to make light of what is happening most people don't take notice.

Thanks for the heads up. I will visit this site.

bluemountainmama said...

kirsten and mike.... good points that we do need to think about. what can we do personally to consume less energy, thus making the demand less?

and kalyan.... i had heard this was happening in india, too. what a shame! here, though, the locals DON'T want the mountaintop mining....it is polluting their water, flooding their homes b/c of dumping of the mountain into the valleys and headwaters, burying and re-routing streams, and ruining the landscape.

unfortunately, this is taking place in some of the poorest and most isolated areas of appalachia, where the people don't have much of a voice or say in it b/c of the money behind the coal industry. that's why it's been so well hidden from the general american public.