Mountaintop Removal: Help Larry get to the UN

(Cross-posted at the new Appalachian Voices blog)


This is Larry Gibson and Appalachian Voices own Austin Hall on (or in this case under) Capitol Hill.



We took this after a day of lobbying for the Clean Water Protection Act (HR 2719) to end Mountaintop Removal coal-mining. Our staff, volunteers, and interns busted our butt for weeks to make the trip a success, and it was! But after three days of intense lobbying, a congressional breifing, and some star studded pictures with some of least favorite Senators...

(Stephen Callahan, Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska, and myself)

...we went home.


Larry Gibson however, never stops.


He can't...

He lives on top of $4.5 million worth of coal.

Coal companies have killed his dogs, vandalized his home, and blasted boulders the SIZE OF MINIVANS onto his property, which now looks like this. (Courtesy of National Geographic.)

The property he lives on happens to have been in his family for over 200 years. Here he is at his family cemetery, surrounded by decapitated mountains.



Larry comes form a long line of coal miners, and is by no means a hippy environmentalist. This is a hard-working, down-to-earth, hard-nosed Appalachian man. Larry was raised in the coalfields, and he'll die there.

But he sure as hell wont move off his land.


Now, Larry has the chance to speak to the United Nations in New York City.

<u> Heres the important part!</u&gt


The Ohio Valley Environmetnal Coaliton(OVEC) MUST RAISE $3500 to make a trip to the UN a reality. PLEASE make a secure donation. You can earmark your donation by attaching a note that says "UN trip.


Larry has founded an organization called the Mountainkeepers. Check them out, and get the latest facts, news, and activism from the Mountaintop Removal Front from the new Appalachian Voices blog

Tags: Appalachian Voices, coal, Environment, human rights, Mining, Mountaintop Removal Coal mining (all tags)

Comments

2 Comments

Good luck - but...

Just been having a skim of the politics chapter of Shirley Stewart Burns's Ph D thesis (PDF).

And what a deeply dispiriting read it makes!

The impression I get is that the coal interests own WV pols lock stock and barrel (right up to Byrd and Rockefeller), and that effective action from the Federal government (with a Dem trifecta, it goes without saying!) would require the sort of commitment and expertise, and willingness to spend political capital on a subject the consultants will call peripheral, that I just can't see happening, I regret to say.

(The fact that the Byrd McConnell amendment back in 1999 - giving (if I understand it right) the mining companies pretty much carte blanche to dump spoil where they liked - sailed through 56-33 is some indication of the work an anti-MTR coalition in Congress would have to do to pass legislation curbing the practice.)

I'm thinking that the task of ending the abuses of MTR makes enacting universal health care look like a walk in the park!

Like I said, the best of luck...

by skeptic06 2006-04-05 05:47PM | 0 recs
Agreed the road will be difficult

But the grassroots effort on this issue has just begun. Only 1/3 of WV citizens support MTR, and I think that it is spreading.

The "Clean Water Protection Act" (HR 2719) to end Mountaintop Removal has 66 co-sponsors (Dem and Rep) in the House, and counting. So, we are starting to gain national attention to this tragedy. AND, unlike healthcare, there is no way to defend it once people know about it.

And yes, as good as Byrd/Rockerfeller may be on other things, they are deeply in the pockets of coal companies. So, that is very discouraging.

A national Dem trifecta would do it. Clinton was looking to put some mining regulations in place that Bush never see the light of day. So, we can see. Thanks for your input :)

by faithfull 2006-04-05 07:30PM | 0 recs

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