The Appalachian Advocate - Appalachian Voices' Newsletter

West Virginia's Water Crisis:
As Predictable As It Was Preventable

On Thursday, Jan. 9, more than 7,500 gallons of a highly toxic chemical used to process coal spilled into the Elk River -- just upstream of a drinking water intake serving more than 300,000 people in West Virginia. While the spill was making national headlines as a one-time event, our thoughts turned to the much bigger problems with water pollution and politics in Appalachia that don't get enough attention from the media -- and how these chronic problems actually set the stage for this disaster.
[ Read the full story ]

More from the Front Porch:
[ Who Own’s West Virginia’s Water? A Cautionary Tale ]
[ Will Politicians Hit “Snooze” On Another Wake-up Call? ]

Make Your Resolution to Fight Mountaintop Removal in 2014

Five years ago, the Obama Administration made a promise to the American people to address mountaintop removal coal mining -- yet the destruction of Appalachia continues on a daily basis. This year we need to make sure our voices are heard across the country. What can you commit to in 2014 for the fight against mountaintop removal?

[ Visit iLoveMountains.org and make your resolution now ]

New Virginia Coordinator Challenges Governor to Address CO2

In one of her first weeks at Appalachian Voices, Hannah Wiegard, our new Virginia campaign coordinator, took to task new Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe's suggestion that carbon capture is the solution to our country's addiction to coal. As Hannah so poignantly asks, "Wouldn't growing new sources of reliable, affordable energy matter more to the region in the long-term than prolonging fast and furious mining and burning of coal?"

[ Read Hannah's post on the Front Porch ]
[ Take Action: VA residents, send a message to McAuliffe]

Former Coal Regulator Shows How Little He Knows About Coal Regulation

You might assume that a congressman who claims to be a former coal regulator would have a keen understanding of coal regulations -- but apparently North Dakota Rep. Kevin Cramer does not. In (yet another) committee hearing about the Stream Buffer Zone Rule, Cramer smugly noted that current stream protections are sufficient and dumping mining waste into streams is illegal. We wonder what the 2,000 miles of streams buried or polluted by mountaintop removal coal mining have to say about that?

[ Watch our video clip of Cramer's statements ]

 

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MEMBER SPOTLIGHT:
Brenda Sigmon
Avid hiker, mountain advocate and long-time AV supporter and volunteer devotes her time to promote the benefits of the great outdoors
[ Meet Brenda ]

Appalachian Trailbuilding
When AV member Davis Wax joined a volunteer trail maintenance crew on the 2,200-mile Appalachian Trail, he discovered a new side of the famous footpath.
[ Read Davis' engaging first person account ]

 

/ UPCOMING EVENTS /

24th Annual Wilderness
Wildlife Week

Jan. 25 - Feb. 1: Enjoy classes, lectures, workshops and daily hikes into the Smoky Mountains, all led by top nature and outdoor experts.
LeConte Center, Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
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Virginia Conservation Lobby Day
Jan. 27: Tell your legislators about conservation priorities you expect from them this general assembly. Richmond, Va.
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Mars Hill Energy Savings for Appalachia Gathering
Jan. 28, 6 pm: Learn about home energy efficiency and lowering your electricity costs. Sponsored by Appalachian Voices. Mars Hill Public Library, Mars Hill, N.C. Email kara@appvoices.org for more information.

Environmental Calendar of Events
Check out our full calendar of environmental goings-on!


January 18, 2014 ~ Vol. 6, No. 1

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Boone, N.C. • Charlottesville, Va. Appalachian Voices Raleigh, N.C. • Knoxville, Tenn.