Front Porch Blog

2nd Annual Mountaintop Removal Week in Washington is a Smashing Success!

May 24, 2007

Mary Ellen Kelly & Pete Ramey from Southwest Virginia

Washington, DC: Over 100 people from 19 states came to Washington, DC May 12 – 16, 2007 for the second annual Mountaintop Removal Week in Washington. After a full day of training and three solid days of back-to-back lobbying appointments on Capitol Hill, the results of their hard work on the Clean Water Protection Act (H.R. 2169) were unbelievable:

  • Over 100 meetings with Congressional offices
  • 20 face-to-face meetings with Members of Congress
  • 16 new co-sponsors for the Clean Water Protection Act in just one week
  • A record total of 79 co-sponsors for the Clean Water Protection Act, the highest number of co-sponsors in the entire history of the legislation

That means that in less than 5 months since the new Congress took office, we already have more Congressional support for our efforts to end mountaintop removal coal mining than we did after the entire 109th Congress.

The volunteers in Washington were joined by thousands of people across the nation who called and emailed their Representatives during the week in Washington. Together, they are the reason the movement to end mountaintop removal coal mining is rapidly gaining power.

It wasn’t all hard work in Washington – there was a lot of fun and celebration, too. You can see a slideshow of the Week in Washington in our photo gallery.

Here is what one Week in Washington participant, Maribeth Meaux, had to say about her experience:

I felt it was truly an honor to stand in solidarity with people of Appalachia directly affected by MTR and to join my voice with theirs during lobby visits at the offices of Illinois Congressmen. I cannot think of a better way to use my time and energy than to speak out against the injustice and destruction caused by MTR…

Because of lobby week, I now know that I am part of a strong and growing group of citizens who refuse to be daunted by the enormity of the problem….

As a member of the Peace and Social Justice Ministry for the Diocese of Joliet, my passion for this issue comes from my faith. As Christians we are called to be good stewards of the Earth and to protect the rights of all people. Clearly, in the case of MTR, the people of Appalachia are being exploited and we are losing some of the most beautiful and biologically rich areas of our country…..

We need to speak out for change and I am thankful for the opportunity that the lobby week gave me to use my voice as a citizen!

The Clean Water Protection Act would curtail mountaintop removal by preventing the dumping of mining waste into streams. You can find out if your Representative is a co-sponsor of the bill, and then thank them or ask them to sign on, by visiting the iLoveMountains action center.

Appalachian Center for the Economy and the Environment, Appalachian Voices, Christians for the Mountains, Coal River Mountain Watch, Earthjustice, Friends of the Earth, Keeper of the Mountains, Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, Natural Resources Defense Council, Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, Save Our Cumberland Mountains, Sierra Club, Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards, United Mountain Defense, and West Virginia Highlands Conservancy.





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