The Appalachian Advocate - Appalachian Voices' Newsletter



Marsh Forks
Coal River Valley resident Ed Wiley and his wife
Debbie Jarrell hold a Pennies of Promise banner
in the Governor's office the day final funding was announced for a new Marsh Fork Elementary School.

Dear members,

The recent coal mining accidents and the massive oil spill that continues to devastate the Gulf Coast are stark reminders that our current energy policy, which prioritizes industry profits over communities and ecosystems, is a system gone awry.

In one such case, the state of Virginia recently approved permits for a controversial mountaintop removal site on Ison Rock Ridge in the town of Appalachia, Va, despite the fact that locals have long fought to stop the project. (Stay tuned for next steps to fight this permit.)

But in a recent victory, residents of Coal River Valley in southern West Virginia were finally rewarded with full funding for a new Marsh Fork Elementary School. The residents had petitioned to the state and protested for years to have the school moved away from a coal processing plant and an impoundment containing over 2 billion gallons of coal sludge.

So let us celebrate the victories but keep on advocating for justice. Your help as a member of Appalachian voices is critical so we can blaze a path towards a cleaner energy future that does not destroy our Appalachian heritage.

Let's make healthy communities and thriving ecosystems America's #1 priority.

Willa Mays
Executive Director


Coal Ash Image
Source: Brian Stansberry / Wikipedia

EPA to Regulate Coal Ash, Somehow, Someday...

When it comes to procrastination, nothing beats the EPA when it comes to regulating coal ash. After missing their own self-imposed deadlines, the agency at last announced its intention to regulate the nation's enormous stockpiles of coal waste...well, sort of. The two public options the agency released would treat coal ash in wildy divergent ways--and neither deals with the disastrous practice of dumping coal ash into abandoned coal mines, also known as minefilling. Could this be yet another Big Coal legal loophole?

Read what the new coal ash regulations will mean for NC.

Debunking the Myths of Dirty Energy

Reclamation Fail on ilovemountains.orgMountaintop removal coal companies claim they are doing us a favor by flattening our hilly Appalachian Mountains. Blow it up, level it out, and economic prosperity will come...or so they say. Appalachian Voices and NRDC show that claim to be big flat lie...

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark...or is it? Climate change denier and long time fossil fuel cheerleader Robert Bryce wrote an Opinion Editorial in The Washington Post claiming that Denmark's conversion to wind power did nothing to reduce their carbon emissions. But AV's Matt Wasson reveals that Mr. Bryce's argument is full of hot air.

Larry Gibson, his wife Carol, and Tricia Feeney laugh at one of the speakers during the Earth Day fundraising eventKeeping The Keeper of the Mountains Safe

Appalachian Voices and other groups raised the roof, and a new security system, for Larry Gibson. A spirited Earth Day event for the long-time mountaintop removal activist--which included a lecture, music, munchies and a much-anticipated Vespa give-away--netted $10,000 to buy an alarm system for Larry's home and mountaintop removal "education center" on Kayford Mountain. Read more about Larry's work and the Earth Day event.




Your Donation Makes A Difference
Appalachian Voices was recently listed as one of E Magazine's top 5 favorite ways to become environmentally active. Join our movement to protect the mountains of Appalachia!

Charlottesville-based musicians Trees on Fire logoTrees on Fire are rocking it out for Appalachian Voices by pledging 5% of their new album's sales to the organization's mission.

Mast Farm InnBe sure to visit the Mast Farm Inn, a world renowned Bed and Breakfast, Country Inn and Restaurant in historic Valle Crucis, NC -- and on the National Register of Historic Places. Come on down!

Check out all of our Business League Members


Operation Medicine Cabinet
May 22 -- Watauga and Avery counties, N.C.
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20th annual Heartwood Forest Council
May 28-31 --Ondessonk, IL
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Music on the Square
Every Friday evening May - Sept -- Jonesborough, TN
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Photovoltaic System Design & Construction Workshop
June 4-6 & 25-27 (two-weekend course) -- Appalachian State University
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Coming Soon!
Watauga Riverkeeper
Float Festival

July 24 - Valle Crucis, N.C.
Stay tuned to for details!

May 19, 2010 ~ Vol. 2, No. 5

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Boone, N.C. • Charlottesville, Va. Appalachian Voices Raleigh, N.C. • Knoxville, Tenn.