Democracy Now!: “We All Live in the Coalfields”

Written by Scott Parkin

Topics: Coal

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Great interview with Jeff Biggers on Democracy Now!

““We All Live in the Coal Fields”: West Virginians Step Up Protests as EPA OKs New Mountaintop Removal”

“At least thirty people were arrested in West Virginia Saturday as protesters marked a new phase of Operation Appalachian Spring, a campaign to end mountaintop removal mining. The protests came just a week after the Obama administration gave the green light for forty-two more mountaintop removal permits in a major victory for the coal industry. We speak to journalist Jeff Biggers, author of the book United States of Appalachia: How Southern Mountaineers Brought Independence, Culture and Enlightenment to America. Biggers says mountaintop removal is a national issue, not a local one, as many perceive.

Seventeen people were arrested in West Virginia Saturday during a series of protests against the coal industry. The protesters marked a new phase of Operation Appalachian Spring, a campaign to end mountaintop removal mining.

The first arrests occurred when two activists wearing hazmat suits and respirators rowed a boat onto an eight-billion-gallon coal slurry lake and unfurled a huge floating banner reading, “No more toxic sludge!” They were charged with trespass and littering.

Later in the day eight more protesters were arrested on trespassing and conspiracy charges after they walked onto the Kayford Mountain mine and locked themselves to a giant dump truck.

Seven others were arrested at a Massey Energy facility. The protests came just a week after after the Obama administration gave the green light for forty-two more mountaintop removal permits, dealing a victory for the coal industry. The Environmental Protection Agency’s decision shocked many activists in Appalachia who have been campaigning to end the practice of mountaintop removal that has already destroyed over 450 mountains in West Virginia, Virginia and Kentucky.

We are joined here at the Firehouse by Jeff Biggers. He is journalist covering mining in the Appalachian region and is the author of the book “United States of Appalachia: How Southern Mountaineers Brought Independence, Culture and Enlightenment to America.” He is in New York this weekend for the New York Loves Mountains Festival.

Jeff Biggers, journalist covering mining in the Appalachian region. He is the author of The United States of Appalachia.”

1 Comment For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Dinesh kumar says:

    You Americans burned carobon all fuels .. .. its nice and so happy to hear that US automobile industry is in hell ell of .. but we sall Indinas stll depend . renewables ..
    care and conserve . try to tech ,,,

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