In Tennessee, the Appalachian Mountains are the foundation of our cultural identity, a unique environmental treasure, and one of our greatest economic assets. From the Cumberland Plateau to the Great Smoky Mountains, our mountains make up the best of what we call “home.”
Appalachian Voices is committed to protecting these mountains, and is proud to fight for the heritage, jobs, and rural communities of Tennessee. Our program priorities are:
- Passing the Tennessee Scenic Vistas Protection Act
- Move TVA Away From the Use of Mountaintop Removal Coal
- Invest in job-creating clean energy and energy efficiency measures
Besides being a part of our identity, the mountains are one of Tennessee’s primary economic drivers. The mountain-driven tourism industry supports more than 300,000 jobs and generates more than $15 billion every year. The Great Smokey Mountains National Park is the most-visited national park in the country, drawing more than 9 million visitors annually — twice as many as the Grand Canyon.
In contrast, jobs in surface coal mining have plummeted to less than 400. Studies indicate that the coal industry’s negligible impact on the state budget does more harm than good and costs Tennessee taxpayers millions every year.
Across Central Appalachia, the coal industry’s ability to provide job growth or economic benefits to the communities who live where they operate is fading. Tennessee does not need mountaintop removal to provide good jobs, economic development, or affordable electricity.