The Front Porch Blog, with Updates from AppalachiaThe Front Porch Blog, with Updates from Appalachia

Scenic Vistas Efforts Becoming Headline News

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012 | Posted by JW Randolph | No Comments

Tennessee Coal Industry Front Group Falsifies Information In Attacking Church-goers Motives

As the Tennessee General Assembly kicked off yesterday, 100s of supporters of our Appalachian Mountains gathered in congregations, gymnasiums, and homes across the state to complete 40 Days of Prayer for the Mountains. The efforts of LEAF, SOCM, Tennessee Conservation Voters and many others has helped make ending mountaintop removal one of the very top issues facing the legislature in 2012.

While the state’s largest paper – the Tennessean – ran this story, Nashville’s News Channel 5 headed off their evening news with this piece, highlighting the downtown service for the 40 days of prayer.

Lovely shot of my wife and daughter aside[:)], Pat Hudson and Reverend Ryan Bennett explain beautifully what we are up against here in Tennessee in our attempts to become the first state to ban mountaintop removal.

The somewhat anonymous Tennessee Mining Association (who doesn’t appear to have updated their website in 2 years) gave a weak and dithering response via Tim Slone that was half half-truths and half lies. I’d like to quickly go through it bit by bit.

Among their more egregious spurts of misinformation were the non-facts that…

It is my opinion that the prayer service is misguided. Their prayers should be directed at the guidance of the country in these difficult economic times and for the safety of the coal miners that provide for over 50% of the energy consumed by this country.

FALSE! Right out of the block he takes a typical elitist swipe at those who use reflection and wisdom rather than a paycheck to decide what to pray about. Then he makes a completely false statement. Coal no longer provides “over 50% of the energy consumed by this country.” The US gets roughly 45% of the electricity (a number that is continually falling) from coal, but far less if you want to include all forms of “energy.”

Secondly, I’m also curious if Mr. Slone cares to describe to us his umbrella organization’s stated opposition to and active lobbying against coal miners’ safety laws? That would seem to contradict his deep compassion for miners stated above. He’s trying to have it both ways.

Alright, lets continue… (more…)

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