Seventeen people were arrested May the 23rd in a series of protests against coal industry abuses. In one of three direct actions, two protestors paddled a raft into the middle of Massey’s Brushy Fork impoundment and draped a banner, which read “West Virginia Says No More Toxic Sludge,” across the coal black cesspool of sludge. Obviously the protestors were charged with trespassing, but you will never guess with what else they were cited. Read on.
Archive for mountain top removal
Just last week, the bill H.R. 1310, which will effectively ban mountaintop removal/valley fill mining, was introduced to the House by Rep. Frank Pallone [NJ], Rep. John Yarmuth [KY] and Rep. Reichert [WA-R], with 116 co-sponsors.
Jeff Biggers of the Huffington Post wrote a great piece about the new legislation: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeff-biggers/black-waters-no-more-clea_b_171793.html
At the end of this post is a list of the co-sponsors. If your delegate is not on the list, PLEASE contact him or her using the Congressional switchboard: toll free, 800.828.0498.
There are two very distinct groups of outsiders who are active in the coalfields. The first group comes in heed of the call of Mammon, to make a quick buck by destroying mountains and taking away their coal. The second group is here only because of the first; it comes in heed of the call of citizens who have reached out in desperation to save their homelands.
In 2007, when Federal District Judge Robert Chambers ordered an injunction on valley fills because they violate the Clean Water Act, Dorsey Green, who lived next to one of the blocked fills, was ecstatic.
“I am so thankful for this ruling. I’ve been a coal miner my whole life and this valley fill would have destroyed my homeplace and everything I have worked for. This ruling will restore my sleep – and my retirement years.”
“This is my tap water. I’m unemployed and can’t afford to buy any water. I’m worrying now every day daily that I’m going to die. I’ve asked a lot of the people around if they would watch out for my kids, you know … if I do die.” – Kenneth Stroud, Rawl, WV
Coal industry interests pillage and plunder boldly. And they justify their actions with arguments that are blatantly absurd.
Take, for example, the massive billboards Cat Walker has erected along Interstate Highways in West Virginia. Cat Walker is a major supplier of the mammoth machines operated on mountain top removal sites. On their billboards, in huge bold letters are the words: “Coal, clean carbon neutral.”
Really? Coal without carbon? Carbón (the spanish word for coal and carbon) sin carbón?