The Front Porch Blog, with Updates from AppalachiaThe Front Porch Blog, with Updates from Appalachia


Controversy in Va. mounts as Dominion bill nears a vote

Tuesday, January 30th, 2018 | Posted by Kate Boyle | No Comments

Dominion Energy is at it again, using its political influence to push legislation that would weaken regulatory oversight and boost profits at the expense of its Virginia customers. But this time something is different. The corporate giant is being met with significant opposition. [ Read More ]

We Made History! Highlights from the People’s Climate March

Thursday, September 25th, 2014 | Posted by Kate Boyle | 1 Comment

march5Last weekend, Appalachian Voices joined 400,000 people in New York City for the largest climate march in history. And it was truly inspiring. While massive extractive fossil fuel interests try everything in their power to tighten their grip on our region’s energy future, it’s moments like these that show we are making progress. [ Read More ]

Join us as we defend “Our Water, Our Future”

Monday, July 28th, 2014 | Posted by Kate Boyle | No Comments

App-Rising-Mosaic-Donna-sqFive years ago, the Obama Administration made a promise to take measures to protect the people, waters, and mountains of Appalachia from the dangerous impacts of mountaintop removal mining. Well, it's five years later, and we are done waiting for those safeguards. This September, Appalachian Voices is teaming up with other groups from the Alliance for Appalachia to ensure our communities are heard. Won't you join us? [ Read More ]

More than 75 Gather in Philadelphia to Demand Clean Water for Appalachia

Monday, February 3rd, 2014 | Posted by Kate Boyle | No Comments

Philly EPA Rally- Sue Last week, more than 75 people braved single-digit temperatures in Philadelphia, Penn., to call on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to take action to protect Appalachia from mountaintop removal coal mining. Until legally binding safeguards are set by the EPA, Appalachia's waters will continue to be polluted by mountaintop removal coal mining. [ Read More ]

Budget Hacks in White House Bow to Industry Pressure on Clean Water Rule

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013 | Posted by Kate Boyle | No Comments

A story this week describes how the Office of Management and Budget caved to industry pressure and weakened an EPA proposal to update a 30-year-old rule on power plant wastewater discharges.

A story this week describes how the Office of Management and Budget caved to industry pressure and weakened an EPA proposal to update a 30-year-old rule on power plant wastewater discharges.

We’ve written before on the Front Porch Blog about the need to dramatically strengthen federal limits for wastewater discharges from the nation’s power plants, which account for roughly two-thirds of all toxics that wind up in America’s rivers, streams and other waters. In June, the Environmental Protection Agency, finally, issued a proposal to update the 30-year-old discharge rule.

While not perfect, the proposed “effluent limit guidelines,” or ELG rule, would go a long way to reducing the discharge of toxics, including mercury, selenium, arsenic and lead, to name just a few. The EPA included several different options for electric utilities to achieve the pollution reductions.


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Susan Lapis, Volunteer Southwings Pilot, Given Prestigious Aviation Award

Thursday, September 27th, 2012 | Posted by Kate Boyle | No Comments

Image courtesy of Southwings

Earlier this month, Volunteer Pilot Susan Lapis was awarded the 2012 “Distinguished Volunteer Pilot” award from the National Aeronautic Association and the Air Care Alliance as part of their Public Benefit Flying Awards Program.

For over a decade, Susan has been giving flyovers of mountaintop removal coal mining sites through her work with Southwings where she has been a volunteer pilot since 1999.

Susan and Southwings have made an incredible contribution to the fight to end mountaintop removal coal mining by giving individuals the unique ability to see the destruction of Appalachia from the air. Check out this video where Susan talks about the importance of these flights and why she has volunteered so much time to make them happen:

Video courtesy of the film Deep Down.

The Public Benefit Flying Awards were created in 2003 to recognize significant contributions by people and organizations who voluntarily put their aviation skills, talents, and equipment to use to the benefit of our of Nation. They are the most important aviation awards of this nature in the United States. The NAA recognized Susan “for her enormous contributions using her aviation skills to protect the natural heritage, communities and ecosystems of the Southeast.”

Photo courtesy of the National Aeronautic Association

Susan is a 1000-plus hour instrument-rated pilot who flys a Cessna 182. She lives in Bristol, VA, with her husband Jim. They have two grown children, Beth and John.

Fight to Save Blair Mountain Continues

Friday, February 10th, 2012 | Posted by Kate Boyle | No Comments

Recent heavy equipment activity on Blair Mountain has residents in Blair, West Virginia increasingly concerned that Arch Coal will move forward with plans to mine the historic site of the largest labor uprising in American history.

Arch Coal, one of the largest coal companies in Appalachia, has four mining operations planned for Blair Mountain, some of which would intrude onto the battlefield. Today, this multi-billion dollar company announced record profits from the fourth quarter of last year.

Folks in Appalachia won’t stand for Arch Coal’s plan to destroy their community and our nation’s history just so they can increase their profit margin, and we shouldn’t either.

Call Arch CEO, Steven Leer today, February 10, and tell him that Appalachian communities should not fall victim to pad his profit margin.

To allow Arch Coal to destroy Blair Mountain would be to tear out a crucial page of American labor history and burn it. But even more important than the history are the lives of the people living at the foot of this mountain today.

Take Action RIGHT NOW — tell Arch Coal to save Blair Mountain.

The We Love Mountains Tour is a Wrap!

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011 | Posted by Kate Boyle | No Comments

Well after 10 cities spread across 6 states, the We Love Mountains tour has come to an end. It was a huge success with over 700 people attending concerts, 15 bands that played and hundreds of postcards written to Congress on mountaintop removal.

The shows were headlined by Dewi Sant, a folk indie band based in Minneapolis, MN and kicked off in Charleston, SC in late January. We were joined by Matrimony at our Boone show, who co-headlined the remainder of our tour which ended in Pittsburgh in February.

Other bands that joined the We Love Mountains tour were The Honey Dewdrops, Big Fat Gap, Uncle Mountain , Older Brother, Wylie, 2/3 Goats and Morgan O’Kane.

At each show we made a presentation about mountaintop removal and illustrated the connection to attendees with the destruction in Appalachia. Attendees signed postcards showing their support for the Clean Water Protection Act and the Appalachian Restoration Act.

The Charlotte Loves Mountains show was covered in the Charlotte Observer. Other concerts were covered in the Mountain Times, The Blue Banner, and The Mountain Express.

The tour inspired many new individuals, who had not yet been exposed to mountaintop removal or their connection to it, and as a result we will be a stronger movement in many critical regions of the east coast.

Many thanks to Restoring Eden who were the partnering organization in this tour and Anna Jane Joyner who recruited the bands and much of the logistics.

App Voices hits the road for a We love mountains tour!

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011 | Posted by Kate Boyle | No Comments

Appalachian Voices and Restoring Eden have partnered for an exciting concert tour this winter to bring together music, faith, and social activism to build the campaign to end mountaintop removal.

The We Love Mountains tour will be headlined by Dewi Sant, a folk/indie rock band from Minneapolis and will kick off in Charleston, SC on January 26th.

The tour will be co-headlined in many cities by Matrimony (Charlotte NC), and will stretch cities in SC, NC, VA, DC, NY and PA. Check out our website for the full tour schedule as well information about the additional bands joining us along the way.

We will have a live twitter feed throughout the tour and hope to bring a new level of awareness about the destruction that mountaintop removal coal mining is having across Central Appalachia. Spread the word about the tour and we’ll see ya on the road!!

Please adjust your seat for landing, we’re heading to Colorado!

Monday, October 11th, 2010 | Posted by Kate Boyle | No Comments

Well as the autumn air begins to change the leaves, the team at App Voices is back on the road, and this time we are heading to Colorado with our Appalachian Treasures tour!

We have a jam packed itinerary so check us out if you live nearby:

Tuesday, October 12th, The Stage Stop Inn, 60 Main St, Rollinsville, CO, 80474
7 p.m.—Herman Family Band
8 p.m.—Appalachian Treasures
9 p.m.—more music and merriment, bring an instrument!

Wednesday, October 13th, 7pm Namaste Solar– Boulder, 4571 Broadway Street • Boulder, Colorado 80304

Thursday, October 14th, 7pm Namaste Solar– Denver, 3330 Larimer Street, Suite 1A • Denver, Colorado 80205

Saturday, October 16th, 9:30am 3220 S. Acoma St Englewood CO 80110
Is God Green? A workshop engaging the Christian Community with Environmental Concern

And be sure to tune in to KGNU (88.5 FM) for a LIVE interview Tuesday morning on “The Morning Magazine”.
Don’t live in Colorado? Stream the interview live online.

Maine, Philly, DC, oh my!

Monday, September 20th, 2010 | Posted by Kate Boyle | No Comments

Well our crew on the road has been tirelessly traveling throughout New England since last Wednesday and has done a knock out job.

Here are the highlights:

In Boston they had an hour long live interview on WMBR after an interview on the steps of the State House Building.

In Maine there was a press conference in Portland that got great pickup on WERU, a local radio station, as well as a 30 minute interview with public public radio.

They also visited the Danforth Wind Farm and then had a great presentation in Bangor at Waterfall Arts, and were in the Bangor Daily News!

Next stop on the tour was Philly where they had two presentations this weekend and then another press event this morning- updates from PA soon!

Keep on following us on Twitter, @AppVoices and #apptours and right here at the Front Porch Blog!

On the Road…In New England!

Thursday, September 16th, 2010 | Posted by Kate Boyle | No Comments

Well this week our team hit the road for an Appalachian Treasures tour of the New England States in hopes to raise awareness about the issue of mountaintop removal coal mining and the importance of the Appalachia Restoration Act (SB 696) in the Senate.

Our road warriors are:

Dustin White, who was born and raised in West Virginia and grew up in the coalfields. He is the son of a retired coal miner and his family has been living in Appalachia since before the Revolutionary War. He is a volunteer with Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition and became actively involved in the campaign to end Mountaintop Removal when Horizon Resources began active blasting at a mountaintop removal site on a mountain named for Dustin’s family, Cook Mountain, where his ancestors once lived. He continues to fight for protection of his family cemetery and others across Central Appalachia.


Mary Bettis Love, a native of Knoxville TN, has lived in and around Louisville KY for the past 22 years. Her roots in Appalachia are deep, with family having settled in East Tennessee near the Smoky Mountains in the late 1700’s. She is currently retired, which gives her more time for volunteer work with her church and with Kentuckians For The Commonwealth (KFTC).


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