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Activists scale 20-story tall machinery to call attention to nation’s worst form of coal mining

This just dropped into our email box:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday June 18th, 2009

CONTACTS:
Nell Greenberg, 510-847-9777
Celia Alario, 310-721-6517
Vivian Stockman, 304-927-3265

Hi-Res Photos, B-roll and Video will be available, www.mountaintaction.org.

Activists Risk Arrest to Stop Mountaintop Removal – Scale 20-story tall machinery to call attention to nation’s worst form of coal mining; This is the first time a dragline has been scaled on a mountaintop removal site

COAL RIVER VALLEY, W. VA.—Moments ago, four concerned citizens entered onto Massey Energy’s mountaintop removal mine site near Twilight WV and have begun to scale a150-foot dragline machine to drop a banner that says, ‘stop mountaintop removal mining.’ The climbers plan to stay on the enormous dragline, a massive piece of equipment that removes house-sized chunks of blasted rock and earth to expose coal, until police arrest them. Equipped with satellites phones and a web camera, the climbers will be available for interviews.

This is the first time a dragline has been scaled on a mountaintop removal site, and marks the latest in a string of increasingly dramatic protests in West Virginia by residents and allies from across the country. This act of protest against mountaintop removal comes just days after the Obama Administration announced a plan to reform, but not abolish, the aggressive strip mining practice.

“It’s way past time for civil disobedience to stop mountaintop removal and move quickly toward clean, renewable energy sources,” said Judy Bonds, Goldman Environmental Prize winner and co-director of Coal River Mountain Watch of West Virginia. “For over a century, Appalachian communities have been crushed, flooded, and poisoned as a result of the country’s dangerous and outdated reliance on coal. How could the country care so little about our American mountains, our culture and our lives?”

Read the entire press release at www.mountaintaction.org

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