Front Porch Blog

Virginians Sure Do Love Mountains!

Reposted from Wise Energy for Virginia, a coalition committed to securing a clean energy future for Virginia. Appalachian Voices is a proud member.

March 25th, 2011 was the second annual Virginia Loves Mountains Day. Instead of having a rally in one place as we did in 2010, this year we had a rally at each of the 11 US Senate district offices across the state. Over 100 people came to visit Webb and Warner’s senate staff in Hampton Roads, NOVA, Roanoke, Richmond, Danville, Norton, and Abingdon. Another 200 plus people who couldn’t make the trip in person made themselves heard by calling Webb and Warner’s DC offices.

Over the last year the EPA has shown that they have been listening to the science, and the cries of the people of Appalachia and our nation to stop the horrendous practice of mountaintop removal coal mining. The EPA has also taken measures to get back on track with clean air and water regulations across after years of backpedaling under the Bush administration. The EPA has worked with the public to make plans for Chesapeake Bay restoration and is developing scientifically sound air pollution standards.

But now, the coal lobby is taking note and is working to undo all the progress we have made.

That’s why this year’s Virginia Loves Mountains Day was geared toward urging Webb and Warner to use their critical votes in the senate toward protecting the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act and to let the EPA keep our air and water clean. This is especially timely in Appalachia where mountaintop removal, coal dust, and tainted water are ruining people’s health and the well being of the region.

This week both Webb and Warner’s offices have responded. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts and the fact that Webb was against a similar bill in 2010 (though most likely because he thought climate change legislation was coming down the line), Senator Webb is now calling for a vote on the “Rockefeller amendment” which would delay any action by the EPA to regulate greenhouse gasses for two years and is now saying that C02 should not be regulated.

Warner’s office didn’t make any promises but seemed disinclined to push for the Rockefeller amendment. While we apparently did not convince Webb, let’s hope Warner works to protect the one agency tasked with keeping our environment livable.

Meanwhile, if you participated in Virginia Loves Mountains Day you should feel proud. We made quite a showing.




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