Front Porch Blog

URGENT: Tennessee Scenic Vistas Bill to be Voted on Wednesday

Bill will first go before Senate Environment Committee

The Tennessee Scenic Vistas Protection Act, which will make Tennessee become the first state to put a ban on high-elevation surface mining techniques such as mountaintop removal, faces an important hurdle this Wednesday (2/29) in the Senate Environment Committee. We expect the vote to be very close, so its all hands on deck in moving these legislators to do the right thing.

Here is a list of the Senators who sit on the Environment Committee. Please call them and let them know you support the Scenic Vistas Protection Act, and want them to vote “YES.” Learn more about our work to pass the Scenic Vistas bill here.

Senate Environment Committee
Committee Officers:
Senator Steve Southerland, Chair – Phone (615) 741-3851
Senator Jack Johnson, Vice-Chair – Phone (615) 741-2495
Senator Jim Summerville, Secretary – Phone (615) 741-4499

Senator Mike Bell – Phone (615) 741-1946
Senator Mike Faulk – Phone (615) 741-2061
Senator Kerry Roberts – Phone (615) 741-1999
Senator Roy Herron – Phone (615) 741-4576
Senator Beverly Marrero – Phone (615) 741-9128
Senator Eric Stewart – Phone (615) 741-6694

In addition, if you have a moment please call Governor Haslam at 615-741-2001. He spoke out against mountaintop removal during the campaign. Ask him to put action to those words by showing the leadership to guide the Scenic Vistas bill through the legislature.

The following television ad is running on Fox News in many of their districts.

Raised on the banks of the Tennessee River, JW's work to create progress in his home state and throughout Appalachia has been featured on the Rachel Maddow Show, The Daily Kos and Grist. He served first as Appalachian Voices’ Legislative Associate and then Tennessee director until leaving to pursue a career in medicine in 2012.


  1. James Franklin Spragens says:


  2. Please save what is left of our beautiful mountains, and our heritage! Too much has already been taken by theme parks! Please! Those mountains belong to God!

  3. Angela Marie says:

    Seven generations into the future our children’s children’s children need to be able to enjoy the vistas that we protect NOW. Please save the mountaintops.

  4. j malone says:

    please don’t cause any more damage. we have enough already!

  5. Beverly Quillen says:

    Don’t sell out, protect our beautiful mountains.

  6. Diana Sizemore says:

    Save the mountains, keep America beautiful

  7. Dana Koogler says:

    I am in favor of this bill to prevent removal of mountain tops and destruction of our scenic views. Moreover, I am in favor of ridge line zoning to prevent the construction of homes or buildings where it would spoil the look of our mountains for all persons.

  8. jim says:

    Good for Tennessee!
    If you want to enjoy the full benefits of MTR come on up to West Virginia. Better yet – do a fly over on Google Earth!

  9. Gena Kennedy says:

    Don’t sell out, protect our beautiful mountains.

  10. Bruce Oulson says:

    PLEASE…. look at the consequences. PLEASE….employ your intellect to consider the impacts. PLEASE…..develop and utilize your own vast resources to encourage alternative sources. PLEASE….be the catalysts to help our nation be a world leader in clean energy. PLEASE….set the standard for conscious & responsible decisions. THANK YOU

  11. Bruce Miller says:

    Did this pass today?

  12. B Oulson says:

    Mr. Miller, I’d say today was disappointing to an extent. All that passed today was an amendment to the amendment of the original bill. As an impartial, yet concerned citizen, most of what happened today was an example of the legislative machine. Although I commend Mr. Stewart on his original intent, the bill as he proposed, no longer exists. I appreciate Mr. Faults position but the meeting seemed inconsequential.

  13. Pat Pennebaker says:

    It is unbelievable that any elected official would even consider destroying the beauty which defines east Tennessee. The relatively few jobs created by the mountain top mining are temporary. When the coal is gone those jobs are gone. The destruction, dangers and damage from the mining is PERMANENT! It is absurd to say that a mountain can be “restored” by piling some dirt back on it. The millions of people who come to visit Tennessee come to see the natural beauty – not man’s destruction.

  14. Cerulean says:

    Will it be on the floor this Wed? Could you ask TN to ask their Senators to create a strong bill to shore up the language that the EPA has given us? According to the Senators on the Env Committee, MTR is technically illegal in the US but sloppy language and horrible permitting is the root problem. The TN Legislature should not fold, but play out this hand and help define MTR in TN as illegal and help the movement to strengthen the laws against it. This committee basically restored the Clean Water Act for Tennessee. The federal level is the goal. Better practices equal more jobs and a healthier populace!

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