Front Porch Blog

Coal River Mountain Battle Picks up Steam

Bees, Trees, Wind and Dynamite by Kevin Grandia over at Huffington Post

There’s a showdown in West Virginia today pitting old dirty energy against renewables — and one side is armed with explosives.

Can Massey Break the Law with Impunity by David Roberts over at Grist:

Massey wants to start blowing the mountain up as early as today, but according to state Department of Environmental Protection secretary Randy Huffman, “If they blast, they do so illegally in our opinion.” Seems they lack the requisite permits.

Despite the impending lawbreaking, WV governor Joe Manchin has refused to intercede, rejecting a request letter sent yesterday from citizen groups. Manchin, apparently not in touch with his own DEP, says Massey has the permits they need.

As Massey well knows, it’s easier to break laws today and pay small fines tomorrow than it is to wait for permits. All about creating “facts on the ground,” you know

Kate Sheppard with On a wind and a prayer at Grist:

For years, local activists from Coal River Watch have been fighting against MTR and other harmful coal industry practices. But in 2006 WindLogics and advocates from the group Appalachian Voices conducted a study and found that a wind farm on the mountain could provide enough energy to power 150,000 homes. They’ve now formed a new group, Coal River Wind, and outlined a proposal to build 220 292-feet-tall wind turbines on the mountain, which would provide a sustained tax income for Raleigh County and at least 250 local jobs. There are three wind companies interested in the proposal.

“This is the first alternative ever proposed that has a strong economic component, that has real benefits to it that could be brought to local communities,” said Rory McIlmoil, campaign coordinator for Coal River Wind. “The wind potential would be destroyed if they continue with the strip mining.”

The Wonk Room at ThinkProgress with Coal Crimes: Saving the Planet or Blowing it Up:

Today brings news of two acts of criminality on either side of the Atlantic Ocean involving coal, the fossil fuel with the highest global warming pollution intensity. In the United Kingdom, activists who shut down a coal plant have been acquitted by a jury of all charges of property damage. In the United States, right-wing coal company Massey Energy is planning to start illegally destroying a mountain to extract its coal. Our two nations are evidently separated by more than an ocean — one is breaking from the destructive dependency on fossil fuels, while the other is digging in deeper.

In the United Kingdom, a jury decided the threat of burning coal was much greater to the planet than the damage caused by six Greenpeace activists who painted a coal chimney with UK prime minister Gordon Brown’s first name

DanaWV over at ItsGettingHotInHere gives us marching orders:

Could you call Governor Manchin, today, and ask him to issue a “stay of execution” for Coal River Mountain? He already knows that there is a real alternative to Mountaintop Removal here, and he knows it is the better option, now he needs to hear it from you! He needs to know that the state and the nation are watching him, and that you know that the decision is HIS to make. The Coal River Mountain Wind Project is such a great alternative that it was awarded Co-Op America’s “Building Economic Alternatives” Award, and is also being highlighted for the national Green Jobs Now! Day of Action on September 27th. But without your help, all of this will be lost for short-term, destructive coal mining.

Please pass this around to your friends, family, colleagues and email lists. The louder the voice, the better the chance of stopping the blasting. YOU can help by:

* Watching the Online video to see what’s is at stake. This home page and the rest of the website will also give you more information about the campaign, and presents a comparison between the benefits of Wind Power versus Mountaintop Removal coal mining.
* Sign the Petition!
* Pass Around the Press Release to your local media – Available on our media page.
*
Come to the Rally on September 16th – Information about the rally is available on the website. Please come support the residents of the Coal River Valley, and the creation of a new, clean economy and Green Jobs for West Virginia and the nation.
* Calling Governor Manchin Today!! His phone number is 1-888-438-2731
* Email Governor Manchin! It’s easy. Just go to www.CoalRiverWind.org and let him know how you feel

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