It is a historic day for Appalachia. Long one of America’s most neglected regions, Appalachia has suffered for years from abuses by the coal industry. Among the latest affronts are horrible health consequences outlined in a series of scientific papers detailing the diseases and birth defects that disporportionately consist of people living near mountaintop removal coal extraction sites. Today, the Appalachian Communities Health Emergency (A.C.H.E.) Act, HR 526, was introduced in the House of Representatives. It is the first and only bill ever introduced that would end mountaintop removal and allow Appalachia and her people a chance to begin the healing that is so badly needed.
The A.C.H.E. Act puts a moratorium on new mountaintop removal permits and orders a wide-ranging, full-scale study to determine the relationship between 5.5 MILLION pounds of high explosives used on Appalachia daily and the broad spectrum of elevated cancer, heart disease, and birth defect rates–not to mention excess deaths–that happen in communities near mountaintop removal.
The effort is spear-headed by the Appalachian Communities Health Emergency Campaign, which is comprised of Appalachian people who must deal with the terror and heartbreak of mountaintop removal every day. We at the A.C.H.E. Campaign are deeply grateful to have talented, committed allies like Rainforest Action Network and thank them for standing beside us in this essential struggle for our very existence. Working together, we can all take a stand and make a difference in the lives of millions when we reach out to our members of the House and Senate to demand passage of the A.C.H.E. Act–demanding a future not of disease and blight, but of hope and health for Appalachia’s children and future generations as yet unborn.
For Appalachia. For the World. For the Future.