The Appalachian Advocate - Appalachian Voices' Newsletter

March 21, 2020

Virginia takes action against Justice family coal companies

Coal companies owned by West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice and his family have a history of violating environmental standards and not paying fines and fees. In January, Virginia took action against two Justice companies by revoking two permits and ordering one company to hand over the bond for one of their mines.

[ Read about these and other problems with Justice-owned mines ]
[ Also: Federal negligence leads to black lung benefit losses ]

Clean energy that leaves no one behind

Renewable energy is better for the environment but, like all technology, is not inherently fair or just. Hear from our Deputy Executive Director Kate Boyle about why it is so important that we create clean energy systems that prioritize equity.

[ Hear what Kate has to say ]
[ Subscribe to The Voice ]

Moving toward energy democracy

More than 150 North Carolinians gathered in February to discuss what their local energy utilities should be doing to address the climate crisis and create renewable energy jobs. Transparency from our utilities and resident participation in decision-making is even more important as many people may struggle to pay their energy bills during the current pandemic.

[ Read about the High Country Energy Justice Summit ]
[ BREAKING: AppVoices and others call on Gov. Cooper to order "no shut-offs" for electric, water and other public utilities due to Coronavirus ]

Virginia legislative session yields big changes

After years of advocacy by Appalachian Voices and many other organizations and community members, the Virginia legislature enacted bold measures this session that will move us toward a cleaner, more equitable energy economy -- but there is much left to accomplish.

[ Read our summary ]

Advocates ask Congress to help coal communities

Appalachian Voices and more than 100 other organizations recently urged leaders in Congress to prioritize several stalled bills that would help struggling coal communities across the country.

[ Read more ]

bobcat in a field of flowersMasters of camouflage

Bobcats are prevalent across North America and are on the prowl more than you might think. These graceful cats are experts at staying out of sight. Have you seen one?

[ Read the article and share your bobcat story in the comments! ]
[ Subscribe to The Voice ]


In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, we have shifted our staff to work from home and canceled all travel and public events for the near future, but we are continuing our work for ecological health, environmental justice and clean energy to our best ability. We hope that all of you stay safe and healthy.

Read our full statement

Crustaceans need love, too
Tell the U.S. Forest Service to protect threatened crayfish from mountaintop removal coal mining pollution. Learn more and take action

Calling all coalfield community groups!
The Reclaiming Appalachia Coalition is awarding $7,000 mini-grants for projects on abandoned coal mine lands in Central Appalachia. Applications are due May 1. Learn more and apply


Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many events across the region have been cancelled. Below is a short list of cancelled events Appalachian Voices is directly involved with. The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that all events of 10 or more people be cancelled in March. Please check with local or regional events before making plans.


Duke Energy Carolinas rate case hearings postponed indefinitely

Southeast Coal Ash Summit March 27-28 is cancelled

Tom Tom Summit and Festival in Charlottesville, Va. is rescheduled to Sept. 21-27


Advocacy from Home Webinar
March 25:
Chat about climate advocacy from home with the Virginia Sierra Club.

Regenerative Agriculture Webinar
March 26:
Talk with the Sierra Club about how regenerative agriculture can help fight climate change and food insecurity

D.C. Environmental Film Festival
Ongoing through March 31:
Selected films from DCEFF will be online for free.

Environmental Calendar of Events
[ Full calendar ]

Census Day
April 1: Every U.S. household should have received an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census by April.

Earth Day
April 22: It's the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day! You can celebrate our wonderful planet by taking a hike, enjoying a day on the river, and more.

Vol. 12, No. 3


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