Windmills in Tazewell County: The Right Choice

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on January 28, 2010 by notwillienelson

I wrote this letter for the Bluefield Daily Telegraph, and it was printed on Jan. 26.

Windmills an opportunity for Tazewell

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

I would like to address the proposed windmill project in Tazewell County. I understand the concerns regarding ruining the view. Some people do not want to look at windmills. The reality is that windmills provide safe, clean energy. It is not a substitution for the coal industry, though that day will eventually come through better clean energy technology.

The people of Tazewell County have an opportunity to get in on the ground floor and generate energy in a way that will not diminish their children and grandchildren’s water and air quality in the way that coal does. It will create 15 permanent jobs, which some members of the community scoff at. The Sunday edition of the Bluefield Daily Telegraph included a column indicating the opening of a Taco Bell would create more jobs and cause less controversy. Perhaps it would create more jobs, but they would be minimum wage jobs, jobs that do not provide the economic stability needed to raise a family, buy a house, or lead a reasonably comfortable life. Do we really want to perpetuate that kind of rest stop economic mentality in the two Virginias?

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Save Blair Mountain

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on January 9, 2010 by notwillienelson

This letter was written to, but as yet unprinted by, the Bluefield Daily Telegraph.

Any West Virginian that knows their history will perk their ears when they hear talk of Blair Mountain. In 1921 conflict between a fledgling West Virginia coal union and coal company opposition came to a head when thousands of coal miners, many wearing red bandanas around their necks as a symbol of their beliefs and solidarity, marched to Blair Mountain in Logan County, rifles in hand, to fight for their rights. On the mountain they were met by paid company “thugs”, as they were called, private planes that served as bombers, police, and eventually federal troops and U.S. army bombers.

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Boycott Wendy’s Until it Stops Sponsoring Mountaintop Removal

Posted in Save Appalachia with tags , , , , on January 8, 2010 by ezlnwv

Update: Wendy’s has taken down the Friends of Coal stickers only to replace them with something worse: signs promoting the group Coal Mining Our Future and their campaign “Coal for Kids.” Coal Mining Our Future is a Kentucky based pro-mountaintop removal organization. They claim that “Coal for Kids” is an effort to raise money for local children. It is clear to impacted residents that “Coal for Kids” is propaganda that Wendy’s should not be promoting.

Please sign this petition pledging to boycott Wendy’s until it stops supporting mountaintop removal. http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/boycott-wendys-until-it-stops-supporting-mountaintop-removal

****Original Post  Below****
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Mountaintop Removal and National Security

Posted in Save Appalachia with tags , , , , , on December 26, 2009 by ezlnwv

Those who profit from mountaintop removal often justify the practice by claiming it is good for the United States. Take Don Blankenship, the CEO of Massey Energy, who at his pro-mountaintop removal labor day extravaganza–called the “Friends of America Rally”–literally dressed in the American flag and proclaimed that the EPA’s increasing concern about strip-mining put “America itself” at risk.  According to Blankenship and others, because coal companies can cheaply extract coal by simply blowing up the mountains that shelter it rather than paying a large workforce to mine it, they can keep the price of energy low enough so that Americans can afford to power their great cities, factories, and homes. 

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Flip-Flopping for Mountaintop Removal

Posted in Save Appalachia with tags , , , , , on December 22, 2009 by ezlnwv

When it comes to stopping Massey Energy from destroying Coal River Mountain, the last (largely) untouched ridge in South Central West Virginia, Governor Joe Manchin is adament that he does not get involved in the permitting process for mountaintop removal.

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Pro-Coal Group Buys “Members” From Stock Photo Site

Posted in Save Appalachia with tags , , , on August 26, 2009 by ezlnwv

Faces of Coal is another corporate sponsored pro-mountaintop removal group that likes to call itself “grassroots.”  Hopefully they won’t go as far as other astroturfers and forge letters to Congress.   But beware…

Thanks to Jamie Goodman with Appalachian Voices for uncovering this.

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Leaked Memo Proves DEP Head Must Resign

Posted in Save Appalachia with tags , , , , , on August 21, 2009 by ezlnwv

Against the overwhelming evidence (including EPA studies) and down-right commonsense that mountaintop removal coal quarrying (formerly known as “mining”) had very harmful effects on ecosystems, the coal industry and its government could find shelter behind a scientific institution which said otherwise.  And though alone in the wilderness, this shelter seemed all the more sturdy since it was none other than the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, the very agency whose members had as a primary duty to diligently guard against any intrusion which would harm the environment. As head of the DEP, Randy Huffman’s contestation that mountaintop removal was benign seemed like the voice of Zeno’s reason, assuring us that we have been manipulated by our senses, that the degradation we see is only a chimera, that the arrow really doesn’t move.

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