Save Coal River Mountain Rally and Protest; Charleston WV; Dec 7 at 2pm

Written by Scott Parkin

Topics: Climate

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Seriously, if you aren’t going to be Copenhagen, ask yourself why won’t you be in West Virginia defending Coal River Mountain on Dec 7?

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As climate justice movements turn towards the floundering talks in Denmark, people in Appalachia are in the fight of their lives to save Coal River Mountain and end mountaintop removal. On Dec. 7, we’ll be rallying and protesting at the WV Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) demanding that they stop the blasting on Coal River Mountain.

For almost a year Climate Ground Zero and Mountain Justice have joined coalfield residents in taking direct action to stop mountaintop removal operations in southern West Virginia (with over a 100 arrests) because agencies like the WV DEP refuse to do their jobs.

A few weeks ago, 13 activists in Washington D.C. staged a sit-in at the EPA headquarters demanding that they take action to stop the blasting on Coal River Mountain. On the same day in almost 30 cities, anti-mountaintop removal activists took action calling on the EPA and other entities to end mountaintop removal.

So please check your calendar and ask yourself: if you aren’t going to be Copenhagen, why won’t you be in West Virginia on Dec. 7.

CALL TO ACTION: Save Coal River Mountain Rally and Protest

West Virginia Dept. of Environmental Protection; Charleston WV; Dec 7 at 2pm

When:Monday, December 7, 2009; 2:00pm
Where: WV Dept. of Environmental Protection HQ– 601 57th Street SE, Charleston, WV
Contact:savecoalriver@gmail.com; www.savecoalrivermountain.org

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In their insatiable quest to maximize profits Massey Energy has initiated mountaintop removal coal extraction operations on Coal River Mountain. The blasting has begun as the rumble of explosives and plumes of smoke coming from the mountain are being seen and heard.

The blasting of Coal River Mountain sets up a catastrophic scenario: Explosives are being detonated near the Brushy Fork coal sludge dam, a weakened class “C” dam that hovers above valley communities like a dark cloud. The Class “C” label is given to dams that in the event of failure, lives will be lost. At least 900 lives are expected to be buried in coal sludge if Brushy Fork should fail.

Many small communities lie in the very narrow Coal River Valley, tucked in between Cherry Pond Mountain and Coal River Mountain. Cherry Pond Mountain is already being bombed and blasted by Massey until it now looks more like a war zone than a once beautiful and plentiful Appalachian mountain. Massey’s blasting and bombing of Coal River Mountain will trap these communities in the middle, leaving them helpless to deal with silica dust, fly-rock, poisoned water, floods and mudslides. This is wrong!

Coal River Mountain is the last great mountain in the Coal River Valley. Destroying it not only places lives in danger, but it will also devastate a great opportunity for real jobs from wind energy and underground mining, long-term tax revenues, and clean energy.

There is no excuse for mountaintop removal. It is the perfect example of corporate greed placing profit before humanity.

We have lobbied. We have written letters to Congress, the Federal EPA, The Federal Office of Surface Mining, The Department of Interior, our state representatives and state agencies, all to no avail. Abandoned by our government we are left for sacrifice, trapped in this very narrow valley between two life-threatening mountaintop removal operations. We have now reached a true state of emergency in the Coal River Valley.

Government agencies are created with the purpose of protecting the people’s interest. When a government agency becomes one that facilitates corporate interest, the people are not well served. Such has happened with the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection. This agency’s inaction has made it very clear that it has no intention of performing its mandated duties, operating instead as a wholly owned subsidiary of corporate coal.

It is now time for citizens to intervene. On December 7, 2009 Coal River Valley residents and friends from across America will converge on the WV Department of Environmental Protection to demand that they suspend and revoke Massey’s permits to blast and destroy Coal River Mountain.

This is the line in the sand. This is a call to action. We call upon all good people to come join us on Dec. 7th. We call upon all who stand for human rights and people’s rights over that of corporate greed to come join us on Dec. 7th. We call upon those that are tired and fed up with government agencies that place corporate interest above that of The People, come join us on December the 7th.

IT’S TIME TO STOP THE INSANITY

When: December 7th. 2pm
Where: West Virginian Department of Environmental Protection; DEP Headquarters – 601 57th Street SE, Charleston, WV
Contact: savecoalriver@gmail.com; savecoalrivermountain.org
Directions: From I-77 North or South / I-64 East or West: Exit Maccorkle Ave. West, (Exit 95); Left on 57th. St ( Appx. 1/3rd mile from exit) Building is on right as soon as you turn onto 57th st.

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