Front Porch Blog

Breaking News: Activists block coal transport in Kayford, West Virginia

By Anna Norwood
Editorial intern, Spring 2012

Pro-mountain activists in Kayford, W. Va. blocked coal transport in two areas this morning (Thursday) protesting mountaintop removal.

Mountain Justice and RAMPS activists are fed up with the coal industry’s disregard for the health of citizens in Appalachia. In protest, five activists locked their bodies to a barge on the Kanawha River with a banner reading, “Coal leaves, cancer stays.” Other activists blocked access to the haul road on Kayford Mountain, preventing coal trucks from entering or leaving the Republic Energy mine.

The press release discusses a study, co-authored by Dr. Michael Hendrix, a researcher at West Virginia University, finding that “self-reported cancer rates were significantly higher in the mining versus the non-mining area after control for respondent age, sex, smoking, occupational history, and family cancer history. Mountaintop mining is linked to increased community cancer risk.”

Nathan Joseph, an activist on the barge, discusses signs that we are “scraping the bottom of the barrel,” in extraction methods other than mountaintop removal, such as strip mining tar sands, fracking, and deep sea oil drilling. He is quoted in the press release discussing the issue of environmental injustice, noting that these dangerous extraction methods are practiced in “low-income communities, indigenous communities, and communities of color.”

Activists and citizens of these communities are taking a stand against mountaintop removal subjecting them to disease. If activists continue taking a stand against the coal industry, mountaintop removal must take a step back while communities step up.

For full details, visit:





Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Leave a Comment