A publication of Appalachian Voices


A publication of Appalachian Voices


Tennessee’s Appalachian Representatives

Phil Roe (TN-01)

Congressman Roe represents a former pro-union district in upper East Tennessee which has been held by the Republican Party since 1881. There is no coal in his district, but he has said he believes that the United States has “a 400-year supply at current usage, and we need to look and expand our technology in coal.” Congressman Roe generally votes with the coal industry, but eco-tourism is an enormous part of the economy in his district, and he has supported legislation such as the Tennessee Wilderness Act, which would protect important natural areas of East Tennessee.
District specs: 20% poverty rate, 42.5% rural, Education level: 17.9% college, 81.4% high school

John Duncan (TN-02)

Congressman Duncan inherited this mountainous East Tennessee congressional seat from his father, but has done little of note in his decades of service. Tennessee’s second district is home to much of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, America’s most-visited national park, making it a popular tourist destination. Despite this fact, Rep. Duncan has been openly hostile towards those working to protect Tennesseans and the environment from mining techniques such as mountaintop removal.
District specs: 15% poverty rate, 25.8% rural, Education level: 27.7% college, 87.2% high school

Chuck Fleischmann (TN-03)

The Chattanooga-based representative generally sides with the coal industry, but voted against an amendment that would have prevented the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from regulating coal ash waste. Earning a second term by beating out local dairy magnate Scotty Mayfield and Weston Wamp, the son of former Representative Zach Wamp, Fleischman is a strong supporter of nuclear energy, the development of environmentally-friendly drilling practices and “clean coal” technology.
District Specs: 20% poverty rate, 37.2% rural, Education level: 19.9% college, 82.6% high school

Scott DesJarlais (TN-04)

Congressman DesJarlais won a closer-than-expected re-election in 2012 due to allegations that he had pressured a former mistress to have an abortion. The pro-coal representative once stated that “We have an abundance of natural and technological resources in our country and should not be held hostage by Arab Sheiks or by regulatory agencies in Washington.” Much of the small amount of coal mining in Tennessee takes place in his Cumberland Plateau-based district.
District Specs: 20% poverty rate, 43.8% rural, Education level: 20.7% college, 83.1% high school

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