March 19, 2013
Contact: JW Randolph, Tennessee Director, 202-669-3670; firstname.lastname@example.org
Nashville – Tennessee Senate and House panels are scheduled tomorrow to consider bi-partisan companion bills that protect mountain forests on the Cumberland Plateau by effectively prohibiting new surface coal mining on ridgelines above 2,000 feet.
The Scenic Vistas Protection Act is the subject of a statewide ad campaign launched today by the Tennessee Conservative Union, which supports the bill, revealing that, for the first time anywhere in the U.S., a Chinese company plans to use mountaintop removal to mine the plateau. View the ad here.
Last year, the Tennessee Senate became the first state or federal legislative body to send an anti-mountaintop removal bill to the floor. Mountaintop removal coal mining has destroyed more than 500 mountains and buried or poisoned more than 2,000 miles of streams throughout Appalachia, including Tennessee’s Cumberland Plateau.
• The Senate Energy, Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee will take up SB99 at 9:30 a.m. (CST) tomorrow.
• The House Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee will take up HB43 at 1:30 p.m. (CST) tomorrow.
• The bill summary can be found here.
“This is really a golden moment for Tennessee, with elected leaders on both sides of the aisle in strong favor of this landmark legislation to protect our mountains, our homeland, from those who would destroy it for short-term gain, whether they are from China or Chattanooga,” said JW Randolph, Tennessee director for Appalachian Voices. The nonprofit group has been working on this legislation package for almost two years along with numerous other organizations from a broad spectrum of interests, including conservationists, the faith community, the tourism sector, and many others.
** JW Randolph is available by cell and email today. He has been confirmed to present testimony at the House subcommittee meeting tomorrow and will available for press statement throughout the day. **
Appalachian Voices is an award-winning, environmental non-profit committed to protecting the natural resources of central and southern Appalachia, focusing on reducing coal’s impact on the region and advancing our vision for a cleaner energy future. Founded in 1997, we are headquartered in Boone, N.C. with offices in Charlottesville, Va.; Nashville, Tn. and Washington, D.C.