Ashley Judd Teams Up With Alliance for Appalachia to Stop Mountaintop Removal

May 25, 2010

Groups Create TV Ad to Bring Environmental Issue to America’s Living Rooms

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Dana Kuhnline, 304-546-8473,
Judy Bonds, 304-854-2182,
Willa Mays, 828-262-1500,
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Charleston, W.Va.- The Alliance for Appalachia and have teamed up with Kentucky native Ashley Judd to expose the dirty secret of mountaintop removal by broadcasting it into America’s living rooms.

The partnership created a powerful new video that uses the most talked about ad in America’s history-President Johnson’s “Daisy Girl”-to convey the severity of mountaintop removal. The advertisement is designed to show the utter destruction of the land, air and water in the mountains of Appalachia.

“I think it’s really important to clarify that mountaintop removal is vastly different than traditional underground mining,” said Judd, who provided the voiceover for the ad. “Both have environmental impacts, but nothing compares to the extensive damage wrought by blowing up America’s oldest mountains and reducing them to rubble.”

“This extremely destructive extraction method also removes miners from the mining, because blasting the peaks and dumping the waste requires far fewer workers,” Judd said. “Mountaintop removal provides less than 10 percent of our coal supply, so it’s not like the industry needs to be turning the Appalachian Mountains into barren moonscapes for the sake of energy. The more people realize what’s going on, the sooner we can stop this madness.”

Much like the original “Daisy Girl” commercial from 1964, the new ad begins with a young girl holding a white flower, counting the petals until her small voice is overpowered by a countdown to a mountaintop removal blast.

Many Americans remain unaware that their electricity-including the energy that powers their televisions-is possibly coming from destroyed mountains. Over 500 mountains have been devastated by mountaintop removal, a form of strip mining that occurs in the south-central Appalachian states of West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee.

“The mountain near my home is being blasted away,” said Judy Bonds, director of Coal River Mountain Watch. “Americans deserve to know where their electricity comes from and what the coal industry is doing to the Appalachian people.”

“The coal industry is using millions of pounds of explosives daily to blast American’s oldest mountains and our homes,” Bonds said. “This commercial is a call to action-we must stop bombing Appalachia.”

A grassroots campaign is underway to try and raise funds to purchase commercial airtime for the ad, and the groups hope many more Americans will learn about mountaintop removal from viewing the ad online.

The Alliance for Appalachia is a regional coalition of 13 groups in five states working to end mountaintop removal coal mining and support the creation of a just, sustainable economy in Appalachia. Members include: Coal River Mountain Watch, SouthWings, Kentuckians For The Commonwealth, Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, SOCM- Statewide Organizing for Community eMpowerment, Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards, West Virginia Highlands Conservancy, The Appalachian Citizens Law Center, Appalshop, Heartwood, Mountain Association for Community Economic Development and Appalachian Voices.

To view the ad, visit