Front Porch Blog

Critical Vote Today in Tennessee Legislature

Mountaintop Removal Makes Us Sick, Takes Away Our Jobs, and Destroys Our Mountains. What Else is Left to Study?

The Scenic Vistas Protection Act is closer to passage than ever before. TODAY (Mar. 27) at 12 p.m. CST, the Tennessee House Environment Subcommittee will vote on whether or not to protect Tennessee’s mountains from the damages of mountaintop removal coal mining.

One tactic that the coal lobby is using is to push for delay into “summer study,” with Representatives saying that they need more information on the issue. But there’s a problem with their line of thinking. First, this bill has been around for 5 years. They’ve had time to read it, consider it, and study it. Heck, they’ve had time to etch it into stone if they want. Its not a new bill.

Secondly, there are dozens if not hundreds of studies documenting the negative impacts mountaintop removal is having on our health, our economy, and our state. These studies don’t make the issue more complex. They make it extremely simple. Mountaintop removal is bad for our health, its bad for business, and its bad for Tennessee. Period. Any vote for delay is a vote for more mountaintop removal, and that is unacceptable.

Some members of the committee remain uncommitted. Thats why we need you to make a few phone calls right now. They must hear Tennesseans speak with one voice in support of the Scenic Vistas Protection Act:

These members of the House Environment Subcommittee remain uncommitted.
Curtiss, Charles (D-43) – (615) 741-1963
Floyd, Richard (R-27) – (615) 741-2746
Hawk, David (R-5) – (615) 741-7482
Lollar, Ron (R-99) – (615) 741-7084
Marsh, Pat (R-62) – (615) 741-6824
Swann, Art (R-8) – (615) 741-5481
Tidwell, John (D-74) – (615) 741-7098

Please call these members and ask them to vote AYE on the Scenic Vistas Protection Act. This simple bill will protect Tennessee’s mountaintops and virgin ridgelines from the damages of mountaintop removal.

Raised on the banks of the Tennessee River, JW's work to create progress in his home state and throughout Appalachia has been featured on the Rachel Maddow Show, The Daily Kos and Grist. He served first as Appalachian Voices’ Legislative Associate and then Tennessee director until leaving to pursue a career in medicine in 2012.


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