We are excited to welcome so many of our members to Charlottesville, Va., this week as we celebrate 15 years of dedication to protecting the Appalachian region. We are thrilled to have Jeff Goodell as this year’s keynote speaker for our annual meeting. The author of Big Coal: The Dirty Secret behind America’s Energy Future and most recently How to Cool the Planet: Geo-engineering and the Audacious Quest to Fix the Earth’s Climate, Jeff is also an investigative journalist and contributing editor to Rolling Stone magazine.
We also welcome Grammy-winning artist Kathy Mattea whose heart-wrenching songs of coal country and activism on behalf of Appalachia are an inspiration to us all.
For 15 years we have been raising our voices together above the din of misinformation and polluter propaganda, speaking up for the land, air, water and communities of Appalachia. As we come together to celebrate you, our members, and the victories we have won for the health of our region I want to thank you and invite you to join me in re-committing ourselves to speak up and engage all of Appalachia in a conversation about building a better future.
While Bobby Kennedy will no longer be participating in the program we also send our best to him and to all of you who have made our celebration of 15 years this week possible.
For the mountains,
This month, Appalachian Voices attended public hearings in Kentucky on the EPA’s decision to deny 36 faulty and inadequate water pollution permits. These permits are the last line of defense to control mining pollution before it reaches public water, but the EPA is under pressure from the coal industry and their political allies to back down. The agency is accepting public comments until June 21.
[ Urge the EPA to hold the line and protect clean water! ]
We raised our voices with 135 people representing 20 states at the annual End Mountaintop Removal Week in Washington, D.C. Together, we conducted 125 lobby visits with representatives, had three meetings with federal agencies, and held a rally where 7 men and women shaved their heads in mourning for the mountains. Meanwhile, individuals held simultaneous, peaceful sit-ins in four congressional offices. We picked up four new co-sponsors for the Clean Water Protection Act that week, bringing our total to 124! [ Get the news about Week in Washington. ]
To slow down global warming and help clean up dirty air, the EPA released the first-ever limits on the amount of carbon dioxide power plants can release into the atmosphere. Unsurprisingly, polluter allies are determined to stop the agency from finalizing this historic environmental and health protection. [ Show the EPA that Americans are ready to fight global warming — comment today! ]
The latest issue of The Appalachian Voice makes a compelling case for conservation and explores the plight of our public places. Learn why resource-rich Appalachian landowners are fighting to control extraction on their lands, and get the latest information about how Southern Appalachia’s high-elevation forests might respond to climate change. [ Discover the web edition of The Appalachian Voice! ]