Quantcast

Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining Ends on March 16

Energy

Fourteen months after the world watched in astonishment as poorly regulated coal-washing chemicals contaminated the Elk River in West Virginia, coal country residents and supporters are gearing up for an epic showdown on March 16 with the state's Department of Environmental Protection—and the U.S. Congress—over the mounting death toll and health crisis from mountaintop removal strip mining.

After witnessing the loss of their health, livelihoods, forests, historic farms and homes over a half century of unparalleled strip mining destruction, The People's Foot movement—an extraordinary alliance of residents, community and environmental groups and national civil rights organizations—is coming down in Charleston, West Virginia, with a clear message: March 16 has officially been declared "No More Mountaintop Removal Permits Day."

The era of "clean coal" billboards is over in West Virginia. A new era of billboards calling for an end to the devastation of mountaintop removal and a transition to clean energy jobs has begun.

Many billboards in Charleston, West Virginia are promoting The People's Foot movement. Photo credit: The People's Foot

In essence: Mountaintop removal ends March 16; the people declare that the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection must no longer approve the necessary permits for this deadly and costly strip mining operation.

And from this day forward, the health and lives of central Appalachian children, adults and pregnant mothers are in the hands of the U.S. Congress, who must pass the Appalachian Community Health Emergency Act in 2015.

Seeing how 25 peer-reviewed health, medical and scientific studies demonstrate the association and connection between a broad range of ill health outcomes and mountaintop removal mining, including lung cancer, birth defects, heart and respiratory problems;

Seeing how President Obama can veto the Keystone pipeline, we can bring 50 years of mountaintop removal ruin to an end;

Seeing how a federal judge has upheld the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' right to disregard studies on the health impacts of mountaintop removal mining in its permitting process;

Seeing how the Obama administration has failed to send a single high-level official to tour the mountaintop removal areas in central Appalachia over the past six years;

Seeing how the West Virginia DEP is incapable of properly regulating the coal industry and ensuring the protection of the environment and the health of state residents;

Seeing how President Obama has failed to heed former West Virginia congressman Ken Hechler's call for a President Truman moment and sign an executive order for basic civil rights in strip mining operations;

Seeing how an AP review of federal environmental enforcement records "shows that nearly three-quarters of the 1,727 coal mines listed haven't been inspected in the past five years to see if they are obeying water pollution laws;"

Seeing how central Appalachian citizens have spent decades committed to building a citizens movement and education campaign for basic health rights and civil rights and environmental protection; leading legislative campaigns, nonviolence protests and direct actions; testifying in front of the state legislatures, the U.S. Congress, and the United Nations and in forums across the country;

Seeing how tens of films and documentaries, and concerts and songs, books and poetry, and artistic campaigns have attempted to highlight the humanitarian crisis and extraordinary environmental devastation;

Seeing how former U.S. Senator Robert Byrd called more than five years ago for the U.S. Congress to take the "time to fully understand the effects of mountaintop removal mining on the health of our citizens:"

The People's Foot is coming down in Charleston, West Virginia, on March 16.

Here's the official announcement—pass the word:

Respiratory birth defects in mountaintop removal mining communities (MTR) are triple that of NON-MTR communities. A mother that DOES NOT SMOKE, but lives in an MTR community is at 10x's GREATER RISK of birthing a baby with a respiratory birth defect than a woman THAT DOES SMOKE, but does not live in an MTR community. Research scientists, including West Virginia University's Mary Baab Randolph Cancer Center have proven that MTR blasting particulate matter collected from the air and peoples homes in MTR communities promotes tumor formation in human lung cells. Cancer rates in MTR communities are nearly triple the national average. There are now more than 25 peer reviewed and published research papers showing mountaintop removal is a major health threat to the living and the unborn. Yet, in spite of this overwhelming evidence the WV Dept. of Environmental Protection continues to issue mountaintop removal permits that allow the coal industry to blast WV mountains with high explosives unleashing fine particulates of silica, aluminum, and molybdenum dust. We, The People will no longer stand silent while the WV DEP with the blessing of Senator Joe Manchin and our Governor continue to encourage and support the poisoning of our children with toxins that cause cancer. Click the events link on the left side of this page, then come join us at the WV DEP to send a loud and firm message to the Secretary of the WV DEP; no more permits, stop allowing this murderous act to continue, mountaintop removal ends today!

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

PNC Bank Will Cease Investments in Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining

President Obama, Stop Selling Us Out: End Oil, Gas and Coal Extraction on Public Lands

David Suzuki: Climate Change Is Real Threat, Not Activists Calling for Immediate Action

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Aerial assessment of Hurricane Sandy damage in Connecticut. Dannel Malloy / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Extreme weather events supercharged by climate change in 2012 led to nearly 1,000 more deaths, more than 20,000 additional hospitalizations, and cost the U.S. healthcare system $10 billion, a new report finds.

Read More Show Less
Giant sequoia trees at Sequoia National Park, California. lucky-photographer / iStock / Getty Images Plus

A Bay Area conservation group struck a deal to buy and to protect the world's largest remaining privately owned sequoia forest for $15.6 million. Now it needs to raise the money, according to CNN.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
This aerial view shows the Ogasayama Sports Park Ecopa Stadium, one of the venues for 2019 Rugby World Cup. MARTIN BUREAU / AFP / Getty Images

The Rugby World Cup starts Friday in Japan where Pacific Island teams from Samoa, Fiji and Tonga will face off against teams from industrialized nations. However, a new report from a UK-based NGO says that when the teams gather for the opening ceremony on Friday night and listen to the theme song "World In Union," the hypocrisy of climate injustice will take center stage.

Read More Show Less
Vera_Petrunina / iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Wudan Yan

In June, New York Times journalist Andy Newman wrote an article titled, "If seeing the world helps ruin it, should we stay home?" In it, he raised the question of whether or not travel by plane, boat, or car—all of which contribute to climate change, rising sea levels, and melting glaciers—might pose a moral challenge to the responsibility that each of us has to not exacerbate the already catastrophic consequences of climate change. The premise of Newman's piece rests on his assertion that traveling "somewhere far away… is the biggest single action a private citizen can take to worsen climate change."

Read More Show Less
Volunteer caucasian woman giving grain to starving African children. Bartosz Hadyniak / E+ / Getty Images

By Frances Moore Lappé

Food will be scarce, expensive and less nutritious," CNN warns us in its coverage of the UN's new "Climate Change and Land" report. The New York Times announces that "Climate Change Threatens the World's Food Supply."

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
British Airways 757. Jon Osborne / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

By Adam Vaughan

Two-thirds of people in the UK think the amount people fly should be reined in to tackle climate change, polling has found.

Read More Show Less
Climate Week NYC

On Monday, Sept. 23, the Climate Group will kick off its 11th annual Climate Week NYC, a chance for governments, non-profits, businesses, communities and individuals to share possible solutions to the climate crisis while world leaders gather in the city for the UN Climate Action Summit.

Read More Show Less

By Pam Radtke Russell in New Orleans

Local TV weather forecasters have become foot soldiers in the war against climate misinformation. Over the past decade, a growing number of meteorologists and weathercasters have begun addressing the climate crisis either as part of their weather forecasts, or in separate, independent news reports to help their viewers understand what is happening and why it is important.

Read More Show Less