Counteracting Coal's Dirty Tricks
Last month, we acted quickly in response to H.R. 2824, a pro-mountaintop removal bill in the U.S. House of Representatives. While we never expected to prevent the bill from passing the anti-environmental House, our efforts helped to make the perils of mountaintop removal the message of the day. And by showing how far it’s willing to go to make mountaintop removal easy, the coal industry did its part in stoking stronger public and congressional support for clean water.
Our Virginia campaign coordinator, Hannah Wiegard, has been hitting the highways and byways of her home state to spread the word about clean energy. From Fredericksburg and Front Royal to Christiansburg and beyond, Hannah is meeting with a variety of Virginians interested in making energy efficiency, and solar and wind the energy of the future.
Standing up for Tennessee's mountains
This spring, the Tennessee team at Appalachian Voices fought hard to protect our mountains in the Volunteer state. As in past legislative sessions, we highlighted the harms of mountaintop removal mining and garnered strong legislative support to end the practice in the state. And we helped defeat a move by the coal industry to weaken environmental standards for surface mining.
The widening scope of public scrutiny around the coal ash, chemical, and coal slurry spills in Appalachia this year has revealed deeper concerns. Mounting evidence suggests that officials in West Virginia and North Carolina have weakened environmental rules, and too often fail to hold polluting companies accountable -- leaving citizens at risk.
[ From The Appalachian Voice -- "Toxic Warnings: Recent Spills Underscore Lack of Water Oversight" ]
More dollars, less democracy
If money equals speech, the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in McCutcheon v. FEC gave the largest political donors an even louder megaphone. Referred to as the "sequel to Citizens United," the ruling abolished the aggregate limit a donor is allowed to spend during an election cycle, and chiseled away at an already broken campaign finance system.