Last week, Appalachian Voices was on the front lines of our democracy at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. Our “bourbon and bluegrass” reception for our friends and allies was a smashing success, with impassioned calls to end mountaintop removal coal mining and rousing endorsements of our work from Sen. Ben Cardin, Van Jones and North Carolina Representative Pricey Harrison.
We handed out thousands of “I Heart Mountains” buttons and engaged countless people on the need to end mountaintop removal. We talked with dozens of lawmakers and leaders, were interviewed by numerous media outlets, and participated in a lively panel discussion on the dangers of coal ash.
Election Day is just weeks away. With the presidential candidates of both parties now officially nominated, the stage is set for one of the most important elections in recent history. No matter who wins the White House, we will be defending Appalachia’s communities and environment with more voices, speaking louder than ever. We remain undeterred from our mission of moving state and national leaders to:
— End mountaintop removal once and for all;
— Recommit to the Clean Water Act and support the public servants who are entrusted with protecting public and environmental health; and
— Set the country on course for a cleaner energy future while providing opportunities for energy entrepreneurs to create jobs.
The first 100 days after a presidential election is a critical time to reach out to the existing or incoming White House on matters of national policy. In our view, ending mountaintop removal and protecting clean water in Appalachia must be a priority.