Al Gore: "Mountaintop Removal is a Crime, and Ought to be Treated as a Crime"

Al Gore:

Mountaintop removal is a crime and ought to be treated as a crime

Al Gore recently addressed Appalachian resident Ed Wiley, Ed's granddaughter Kayla, and the audience at the 2008 Nashville film festival, to present Director Michael O' Connell the 2008 "Reel Current Award" for his most recent piece "Mountain Top Removal."

You'll remember Ed Wiley as the  grandfather who walked 455 miles from Charleston WV to Washington DC to speak with Senator Byrd about mountaintop removal mining in his community, and Marsh Fork Elementary School which sits right below a sludge impoundment holding 2.8 billion gallons of toxic sludge.

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Obama on MTR: "Protecting Appalachian Waterways top Priority"

Appalachia is being utterly gutted by Big Coal. The desperate calls for change are coming from the ground up. Our candidates have an obvious choice.

As "The Examiner" notes:

Of the remaining 566 Democratic delegates to be won, 352 will be awarded from Appalachian states. The western parts of Pennsylvania (April 22) and North Carolina (May 6) along with West Virginia (May 13) and Kentucky (May 20) will take on outsized importance in the weeks to come.

A majority of West Virginians oppose mountaintop removal.
A majority of Americans oppose mountaintop removal.

The political will to end mountaintop removal is here. 

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Hillary Clinton on Mountaintop Removal this morning

(Cross-posted at the Appalachian Voices Front Porch Blog)

Beth Vorhees interviewed Senator Hillary Clinton on West Virginia Public Broadcast (audio), this morning and asked her a direct question about her position on mountaintop removal coal-mining.

Hillary's answer below the fold.

Keep in mind, mountaintop removal:
1)  Has destroyed 1 million acres of the most biodiverse temperate forest in the world

2) Has led to a 90% reduction in mining jobs in WV because of the automation of labor

3) Has leveled 470+ of the oldest mountains on the continent.

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Obama, Go There

And I don't mean negative.

The key to an Obama victory in the primary and the GE now lies nowhere else but in the misty mountains of Appalachia. So strap on your geeek glasses and lets have some fun. We've got work to do.

I am writing this diary out of a desire to see Barack Obama win the primary and general election. There is no doubt that Appalachia is the absolute KEY area to electoral victory for Obama. With the Appalachian vote goes the potential swing of WV, OH, VA, NC, PA and potentially KY and TN depending on the numbers come November.

So far, Obama is under-preforming 44% in Appalachian areas. Tennessee hinted at it (-41), Virginia seconded (-61), and SE Ohio (-31) has made it exceedingly clear. But it can, and will be his.

Dive in with me to see how Obama locks up the primary, and crushes John McCain in the General Election.

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Obama up 15+ in Virginia

Many have been concerned that we shouldn't pay too much attention to the polls. I agree, and present...Obama's Virginia Headquarters. Now get to work!  
(h/t RaisingKaine)

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Two polls have confirmed it! Obama over 50%, and Clinton under 40%

SurveyUSA has Obama up 59-37. The poll was conducted of Democratic Primary voters in Virginia.

The second poll is Insider's Advantage, which shows Obama up 52-37.

More below the fold.

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Appalachian Coal: the faucet is almost dry

cardiovascular disease, loss of visibility, and (somewhat importantly) the complete shattering of our global climactic patterns.

Many are also seeing for the first time that extracting coal is as destructive (and socially expensive) as emitting coal. Mountaintop removal and strip mining are decimating the majestic Appalachian Mountains - the oldest mountains on this continent. More than 1 million acres have been blasted away, and shoved recklessly into creek-beds and hollows. 1200+ miles of headwater streams have been buried, poisoning the water for us and those who live down stream.  

The ancient hardwood forests of Appalachia (themselves an important carbon sink in our war on CO2) are often shoved aside with the mountain, left to rot and clog our streams without even being commercially harvested. The "rape" of Appalachia, as Senator Webb has called it.

How much coal would be "worth it?"
100 years?
250 years?
500 years?

Hows about a dozen?

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Obama DOESN"T Snub CBC

Contrary, to an earlier diary on MyDD, and The Hill, it appears that a recent attempt to portray Obama and the CBC as being divided are, in fact, deliberate smears.

CBC member and US Congressman, Albert Wynn.:

   Dear Editor,

   I want to take strong exception to the article that ran in yesterday's paper entitled, "Obama Snubs Black Caucus."The views depicted in the article are a deliberate distortion of my remarks to the reporter. I explained to the reporter in great detail that there was no risk or snub involved, but merely a matter of logisitics. This appears to be a calculated attempt to portray divisiveness between Barack Obama and the CBC that do not in fact exist. Senator Obama has always expressed his willingness to host a fundraiser for the CBC PAC. We are working together to secure a date and avoid a scheduling conflict. The Senator has been very supportive of the CBC PAC's efforts, and I am confident that he will continue to do so in the future.

   Sincerely,

   Albert R. Wynn

   Member of Congress

I don't expect that will be the last of the smears on Senator Obama, but they're becoming laughably easy to refute.

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John Edwards Butters His Toast in Iowa

BREAKING: [Des Moines, IA] I have to take a break from my MSM bunker to share some amazing news with the MyDD community. Senator Obama has been doing his usual water-to-wine thing, and (whod have thought) late into the night the saintly Senator from Illinois even showed us how he can turn boring old wine...into well-aged whiskey.  Mmmmm...tastes like a different kind of politics to me.

Anyways...I just wanted to spread some amazing news!!!

This morning, John Edwards buttered his toast.

It was amazing, and is sure to turn the campaign around. Where was Senator Obama? Why wasn't he buttering his toast? Probably because he was getting "experienced" with Lieberman at the madrassa, and figuring out ways to make Democrats look like chickenshits and still prolong the war.

Obama and Hillary...LOOK OUT

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Obama Nails Conservative Majority on Supreme Court

cross-posted on kos

Free Image Hosting at allyoucanupload.comBarack Obama, straight off the heels of the most impressive grassroots Q1 effort in history, released this searing statement today in response to the Supreme Court decision regarding partial birth abortion. And he did it in spectacular fashion, going much farther than simply saying he disagreed.

Obama is stepping up and tying this unpopular decision right around the conservative Supreme Court's neck!

Full statement below...

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Obama Rising in Polls After Record Small Donor $

National polls are showing Barack Obama surging, after he raised a whopping $5.7 million in small donor receipts (<$200) last quarter.

To put it in perspective, Senator Clinton and John McCain were second and third with just $2.5 and $2.27 million.

Obama also raised a higher percentatge of his money (22%) from small donations than any of the other leading candidates.

What happens when candidates build a large grassroots donor base?

They rise in the polls, as we are seeing Barack Obama doing right now...

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