Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Coal River Wind: Take Action Today to Save the Mountain!

Coal River Wind: Take Action Today to Save the Mountain!

Join us today -- from wherever you are -- to save Coal River Mountain!
Rally in Charleston or take action from your home!
The AP reports on today's event -- learn about and join the growing movement!
Charleston Gazette features Jeff Biggers Op-Ed.
Coal River residents speak to the camera about why this matters.

Rally in Charleston, WV at the Department of Environmental Protection
We need you to stand with us to save Coal River Mountain.
When: Today, Monday Dec. 7 at 2:00 p.m.
Where: West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection headquarters
601 57th Street SE, Charleston, WV. *Directions below.
What: Speakers (including Bobby Kennedy, Jr.), a historic rally, music
Why: We need your help to save Coal River Mountain and protect the people of Coal River Valley, a critical step in ending mountaintop removal coal mining and putting the country on a path to a clean energy future.

The WV DEP has signed off on the blasting of Coal River Mountain, and the blasting has started, 200 feet from Massey Energy's Brushy Fork dam and impoundment. This massive lake of toxic coal slurry sits above abandoned underground mines. Blasting could destabilize natural fractures in the rock between the bottom of the impoundment, the roof of the old mines, and weak pillars that support the roof. Each blast increases the potential for a disaster like the one in 2000 at a Massey-operated impoundment in Martin County, KY. The same engineers who worked on the failed Kentucky impoundment worked on the Brushy Fork impoundment.

Each blast also destroys a little more of the wind potential of Coal River Mountain -- but there is still plenty of the mountain left to save. If we fight hard now, we can create a model for meeting energy needs sustainably and creating good local jobs and long-term tax revenue.

In a historic protest to defend a mountain and all it represents, Coal River Valley residents and friends from across America will converge on the DEP to demand that the agency suspend and revoke Massey's permits to blast and destroy Coal River Mountain. We are also calling on the EPA to recognize the DEP as a failed agency and assume responsibility for its water monitoring program.

Please do what you can to make it to Charleston on Dec. 7 -- take a day off work, cash in one of your sick days. Bobby Kennedy, Jr. is scheduled to be one of our speakers on the 7th. We hope to see you there!
*Directions: From I-77 North or South / I-64 East or West: Exit MacCorkle Ave. West, (Exit 95); Left on 57th. St (Approximately 1/3rd mile from exit); Building is on right on 57th St., across from the Elder Beerman store at the Kanawha City Mall.

Anywhere, Today: Solidarity Action
If you can't make it to the action today, please call the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection to help support those rallying in Charleston. The DEP is responsible for inspecting the coal sludge dam nearest to the mine site, and has the power to stop the blasting. Call Randy Huffman, Secretary at DEP, and ask him to intervene at Coal River Mountain. Call him at 304-926-0440.

Sample Script

"Hi, I'm calling to ask the West Virginia DEP to intervene at Coal River Mountain. Coalfield residents are reporting that blasting and mountaintop removal operations have begun there. We need the DEP to act now due to the imminent danger to the local community and to our clean energy future."

Talking Points

- Massey Energy has started mountaintop removal operations there. The blasting is happening near the Brushy Fork sludge impoundment which now holds 8.2 billion gallons of toxic coal waste near the town of Pettus, WV. If it were to fail, it would threaten the lives of 1000 people and be an environmental disaster. The dam is permitted to hold more than 9 billion gallons of sludge.

- Studies have shown that Coal River Mountain's ridges have the highest and most productive wind potential. A wind farm on Coal River Mountain could generate 1.2 % of West Virginia's total energy needs, create hundreds of jobs in the local area and generate a long term tax revenue stream for the state. Everyday that blasting happens, the possibility for the wind farm diminishes.


This action alert is going out to you early Monday morning. Later today, please check the "Take Action" pages at Save Coal River Mountain for more information and to let us know you called.

Fruits of Your Actions

Last month, you along with 65,000 others sent emails to the Obama Administration asking that they intervene to stop the blasting on Coal River Mountain, which is endangering the lives of the people in Coal River Valley and destroying critical clean energy resources. Thanks to you, the EPA has responded. In late November, the EPA sent a letter to Marfork Coal Company, the Massey Energy subsidiary that is blasting on Coal River Mountain. The EPA is taking a tough look at the mining site, using its legal and regulatory authority to intervene in the operation.

But the fight continues. We need your help again, and we need it today. It is critical that the DEP play its part in saving Coal River Mountain. Please call the DEP today to help stop Massey Energy from destroying Coal River Mountain.

It is not too late to save Coal River Mountain. Please help!


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