September 23, 2009
Appalachia's water, air, and land are at risk due to the extraction, burning, and waste disposal associated with coal. We recognize that coal is not the only source of pollution, but increasingly, it makes more sense to address the devastating constellation of problems caused by our over-reliance on coal to generate electricity--from mountaintop removal coal mining to toxic coal ash ponds. Energy efficiency and renewable sources of energy can go a long way to meet our electricity needs yet we seem stuck in the "coal" paradigm. We are told that it is cheap and plentiful, but is that really the case?
The truth is, North Carolina and South Carolina pay more for coal than any other states. Recently, South Carolina dropped plans to build yet another coal-fired power plant because economic projections did not justify it. In North Carolina we are urging citizens to protest the construction of Duke Energy's proposed Cliffside plant and the rate hike required to fund it. In Virginia we are opposing two more coal-fired plants. We commissioned an economic study which shows Virginia can meet all of its expected energy demand for the next 15 years simply by investing in cost-effective and existing energy-efficiency technologies.
And with your help, our viewpoint is being heard. Just a few days ago a Washington Independent article quoted Jim Rogers, CEO of Duke Energy, about feeling the pressure surrounding the implications of coal, particularly mountaintop removal coal.
Thank you for being a partner is this important work. Our members make it possible.
P.S. If you are a landowner, call us at 1-877-APP-VOICE or signup online for our free "Managing Your Woodlands" handbook and "Sustainable Forestry" DVD that helps you be a good steward of your forests.
How much does it cost to break the law?
A boulder the size of a refrigerator rolled into a home in Kentucky last week. Frasure Creek Mining Company was fined $10,000. In contrast, two mountaintop removal protestors who were tree-sitting at Massey Energy's Edwight Surface Mine were fined $50,000 for trespass, obstruction and littering.
Two security guards who walked off the job due to the rough treatment of the protestors share their views of the tree-sit, and their opinions of the power of Big Coal and the future of West Virginia. Read more and watch the video here.
Appalachian Voices on Capitol Hill
Appalachian Voices' Director of Programs, Dr. Matthew Wasson, and Kentuckians for the Commonwealth member Mickey McCoy gave a briefing to congressional staffers on the importance of Congress passing the Clean Water Protection Act on September 16. Mickey McCoy, a victim of a toxic coal sludge spill in 2000 that is considered one of the largest environmental disasters east of the Mississippi River, gave his personal story on why mountaintop removal needs to end. Matt Wasson followed up with a slideshow presentation of how crucial it is for Congress to take permanent action, despite what the Obama administration may or may not be doing to stop mountaintop removal at the moment. Read about the presentation and watch a clip of Mickey's statement on our Front Porch blog.
Visit us when you are in Washington, DC
In partnership with the Alliance for Appalachia, Appalachian Voices has opened a legislative headquarters in Washington, DC to better serve the coalfield residents and accommodate our growing work there. Those who make a special a gift of at least $100 or become a monthly "Mountain Protector" through the end of the year will have their name displayed in the foyer of the headquarters where residents of the coalfields and others will be able to see evidence of your support. Demonstrate your support to the Washington headquarters by donating today!
Continuing to throw Duke Energy off the Cliffside
Appalachian Voices, along with the Stop Cliffside Coalition, continues to fight the construction of Duke Energy's coal-fired power plant in Rutherford County, N.C. Duke Energy, on top of wanting to emit more global warming gases into the atmosphere, keeps North Carolinians hooked on an energy source that destroys mountains, produces toxic coal ash ponds, and pollutes our air. North Carolinians already pay more for coal than most any other state, and Duke wants to charge us even more for this dirty energy. Appalachian Voices has been working on getting citizens to speak out at public hearings about the rate hikes, which are needed by Duke Energy to build the Cliffside plant—a plant we believe should not be built. Even Jim Rogers, CEO of Duke Energy, has now expressed major concerns about using coal in the future, particularly mountaintop removal coal.
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