The Appalachian Advocate - Appalachian Voices' Newsletter


Dear members,

It's been a remarkable and exceptionally busy year.

In 2014, Appalachian Voices responded to a string of environmental crises in our region, uncovered coal industry violations of unprecedented scale, and advanced groundbreaking energy savings projects -- all while growing our staff and base of supporters and strengthening our organization to take our work to the next level in the new year and well beyond.

Below are just some of the highlights of our work in 2014, all of which you helped support, whether you contributed financially, sent comments to officials or attended rallies on issues that concern you, shared our information with friends, or all of the above. Thank you for all you do to help us defend this region we all love.

For the Mountains,

Tom Cormons
Executive Director



Ending Mountaintop Removal

  • Gainesville, Florida, became the first city in America to pass a resolution to curtail its use of mountaintop removal mined coal.
  • We testified before Congress about the effects of mountaintop removal and the failure of regulators to stop the problems.
  • Our "It's Still Happening" campaign ensures the Obama administration does not forget that Appalachians continue to suffer from mountaintop removal impacts every single day.

Coal Ash & Fracking

  • Appalachian Voices was among the first on the scene of the Dan River coal ash disaster in North Carolina, documenting the spill to hold Duke Energy and the state accountable and helping to make the collusion between Gov. McCrory and Duke a national conversation.
  • We organized North Carolina citizens opposed to fracking to have their say at important public hearings, and helped gather and deliver 60,000 citizen signatures against fracking to elected officials.

Appalachian Water Watch

  • In Kentucky, we discovered 28,000 violations of the Clean Water Act by Frasure Creek Mining and, along with our partners, took legal action to hold state regulators accountable for failing to clamp down on the company.
  • In West Virginia, our staff chronicled the MCHM chemical spill in Charleston and the Patriot Coal slurry spill in Winifrede, providing expert water testing and trusted reports to the media and the public.

Clean Energy Transition

  • We involved hundreds of customers in Virginia in calling out Appalachian Power for trying to impose a new fee on residents who have solar-powered systems.
  • Appalachian Voices was front and center during hearings for Dominion Virginia Power's long-range plan and pressed the utility to dramatically increase investments in clean energy.

Energy Savings for Appalachia

  • Our Energy Savings Action Center connected residents who want more energy-efficient homes with services to help them save money and reduce the overall demand for electricity.
  • We brought Tennessee electric membership cooperatives together to work toward designing a groundbreaking, statewide on-bill energy efficiency loan financing program.
  • And we hosted a Home Energy Makeover Contest to directly benefit three families in northwestern North Carolina while raising awareness of the need for utilities to offer energy efficiency financing.


December 20, 2014 ~ Vol. 6, No. 12


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