The Appalachian Advocate - Appalachian Voices' Newsletter


Dear Members,

We did it!  Thousands of activists, members and volunteers won a victory for us all. The Old Dominion Electric Co-op (ODEC) announced last week that it has suspended plans to build the largest coal-fired power plant in Virginia.

Citizens speaking out against the ODEC proposed coal plant
Citizens at a town meeting speak out in opposition to the coal plant
proposed by ODEC for Surry County, Va.

For more than three years, Appalachian Voices' members, volunteers and staff have led the regional grassroots fight against the plant slated for construction in eastern Virginia’s Surry County. Fueled by mountaintop removal mined Appalachian coal, the plant would have been a major contributor to air and water pollution and climate change.

Capturing our forward momentum, now is the time to rally as we take on corporations who write rules for their own benefit regardless of the impact on ratepayers, taxpayers, Virginians’ health and natural heritage.  Together we can continue to stop entrenched utility companies and move the Southeast away from coal toward to a clean energy future. If you ever doubted the power of your support, doubt no more.

We will continue to uphold protections for clean air and clean water, ensure that coal waste is kept out of our water supply, and to work to end the senseless destruction of mountains. It is often a bumpy road but your support keeps us strong.

If you have not become a member yet, please join us today.

It does make a difference. Thank you.

Willa Mays
Executive Director

The Coalfields Expressway:
Boon or Boondoggle?  

Economic development can take many forms, but a 50-mile strip mine-highway seems a bit of a stretch. Through a partnership between Alpha Natural Resources and the Virginia DOT, the proposed Coalfields Expressway would use eminent domain to strip-mine once-private lands to later turn into a ridgeline highway -- the first 25 miles would destroy almost 12 miles of streams and 2,000 acres of forest. [ Visit to submit your comments demanding a better impact study for the Coalfields Expressway ]

Despite Ruling, EPA Can Still Protect Streams from Mountaintop Removal

Advocates of Appalachia received some jarring news this month when a federal judge rejected the Environmental Protection Agency’s guidance designed to curtail the environmental damage caused by mountaintop removal. But the Obama administration can -- and should -- continue the fight. [ They’re blowing up our mountains and there oughta be a law! ]

A Half-Baked Coal Ash Bill

Even though it is being touted as a compromise, the Senate’s newly amended coal ash bill still leaves a bad taste in our mouths. Like its predecessor, the new bill prohibits the EPA from stepping in when states are either unable or unwilling to implement required protections and says nothing about coal ash ponds that are no longer in use. [ Find out how, when it comes to crafting legislation, there are some essential ingredients missing from this bill ]

We Love Mountains... and Music

On August 24-26, come to beautiful Grandfather Mountain, N.C., to enjoy the fresh mountain air and great tunes at the fifth annual Music on the Mountaintop. Once again, Appalachian Voices was chosen as the featured non-profit, receiving a portion of the proceeds. The line up includes hosts Railroad Earth and other notable musicians including Sam Bush Dr. Dog, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band and many more. And don’t forget to stop by the AppVoices tent to learn more about our vision for a prosperous future for Appalachia!
[ Get your Tickets now! ]



Donate today!
Join, give or renew today to add YOUR voice to the chorus working to protect the air, land, water and people of Appalachia.


Betsy Shepard and her family
Membership Spotlight

Betsy Shepard of Surry County is oh-so-many things: a wife, gardener, small business co-owner, homeschooler to her two children -- and champion in the fight against the ODEC coal plant in Virginia.
[ Read more about Betsy ]


The latest issue of The Appalachian Voice is now available, featuring a look at how we are navigating the demands on our water in an increasingly thirsty world.

Join Appalachian Voices to receive a copy of each issue delivered to your door, or view the issue online.




Stand up that Mountain: The Battle to Save One Small Community in the Wilderness Along the Appalachian Trail
Aug. 23, 6:30 p.m.: Presentation, reception and booksigning with author, Jay Leutze. Catawba College, Salisbury, N.C.
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Music on the Mountaintop
August 24-26: Appalachian Voices is the featured non-profit at the 5th annual festival hosted by Railroad Earth.
Banner Elk, N.C.
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AV at the DNC
Sept. 3-6: Appalachian Voices is the featured non-profit at the 5th annual festival hosted by Railroad Earth.
Banner Elk, N.C.
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Changing of the Leaves Festival
Oct 13-14: See mountaintop removal and celebrate Appalachian culture with Larry Gibson and other inspiring mountainkeepers. Kayford Mtn, W.Va.

Environmental Calendar of EventsCheck out our full calendar of environmental goings-on!

August 20, 2012 ~ Vol. 4, No. 8

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