Appalachian Voices’ Director of Programs Matt Wasson addresses a live and online audience about mountaintop removal and coal waste.
Tennessee Director JW Randolph and D.C. Director Kate Rooth greet EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson at the DNC.
Last night, it was great to see our Director of Programs Matt Wasson, our good friend from Tennessee, Ann League, and our colleague from North Carolina, Catawba Riverkeeper Rick Gaskins, engage in a lively discussion about the tragedies of the coal cycle, from mountaintop removal mining to the haphazard disposal of coal waste.
And today, our third in Charlotte for the DNC, with thousands of delegates from around the country charged up from the speeches last night, the energy is palpable. And the future of our nation’s energy policy is a hot topic.
From forums on renewable energy, public transit, energy efficiency, progressive economic policy, “free-market environmentalism” and energy and the presidency, it’s clear that the citizens here are engaged and enthusiastic about the prospects of a great American energy transition. Even the building that Appalachian Voices and many others are using for blogging and reporting has a rooftop wind turbine, photovoltaic panels and a solar/thermal system.
Charlotte continues to grow rapidly, and all week local leaders have sponsored sessions showcasing the city’s own efforts to shift to sustainable practices, reduce energy use and generally “walk the walk” that must come with all the talk.
I cannot imagine a better time or place for Appalachian Voices to participate in the discussion moving our energy policy forward and reducing the impacts that the worn-out ways of providing energy, especially burning coal, is having on Appalachian families.