Tag Archives: Mountain Justice

Victory! Grassroots Organizing Stops Massive Strip Mine in VA

23 Jun

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By Skyler Simmons, Southern Appalachians EF! Newswire Correspondent

It has been a long, hard fight but residents of the small coalfields town of Appalachia, VA can breathe a little easier after the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy (DMME) for the second time rejected a mountaintop removal mine permit for Ison Rock Ridge. The massive strip mine, proposed by A&G Coal would have leveled over 1000 acres of Ison Rock Ridge and filled in four valleys on the outskirts of Appalachia and Inman.

“I am so pleased to finally see the DMME stand up for the people they are supposed to represent,” said Sam Broach, president of Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards (SAMS). “The people living in the areas affected by surface mining can sleep well tonight knowing that the mountains above them won’t be blown up, and the air they breathe will be a little bit cleaner.”

SAMS, along with the Sierra Club and Blue Ridge Earth First! fought the DMME for years to stop the permitting of new MTR sites in this isolated corner of Virginia with little success. It appears that their years of community organizing, protests, and direct action are finally paying off with the rejection of the Ison Rock Ridge Permit. Continue reading

Mountain Mobilization Kicks Off Summer of Solidarity with a Challenge to Strip-Mining

24 Jul

by Wren Awry

Originally posted in Waging Nonviolence.

Listening to the talk in Washington is depressing these days for those concerned about the future of our planet. Democrats join Republicans in trying to roll back environmental regulation, any discussion of climate legislation is dead and everyone wants to expand domestic fossil fuel production. But all across America in the midst of a long hot summer, ordinary citizens are telling a different story by confronting out-of-control energy extraction directly.

Continue reading

Pro-mountain activists board coal barge and blockade Kayford strip mine haul road

24 May

Activists deploy on a coal barge in West Virginia.

Mountain Justice and RAMPS activists blocked coal transport in two locations Thursday morning protesting mountaintop removal. Five boarded a barge on the Kanawha River near Chelyan, West Virginia, with a large banner that read “Coal leaves, cancer stays,” and locked their bodies to the barge. At the same time, dozens of concerned citizens obstructed access to the haul road on Kayford Mountain, stopping coal trucks from entering or leaving the Republic Energy mine.

“These actions against coal transport were taken because the viability and health of mountain communities are being destroyed by mountaintop removal—the coal and the profits are shipped away, leaving disease and destruction in their wake,” Rebecca Loeb, one of the people on the barge said.

According to Nathan Joseph, another activist on the barge, the struggle against mountaintop removal in Appalachia is linked to the struggles of other fossil-fuel extraction communities across North America and the world.

“The coal industry’s continued disregard for the well-being of Appalachian communities is connected to the struggles of other North American extraction communities. Strip mining tar sands for low-quality oil, fracking for dirty gas and deep-sea oil drilling are signs we are scraping the bottom of the barrel. The extraction, transport, processing and combustion of these fuels all disproportionately impact low-income communities, indigenous communities (such as Diné people on Black Mesa) and communities of color,” Joseph said. Continue reading

Mountain Justice Spring Break ends in protest at fracking company headquarters

29 Mar

On the morning of Wednesday, March 26, more than 30 anti-fracking activists from across West Virginia and Appalachia picketed the Bridgeport, West Virginia, office of EQT Energy. The group of activists were supporting two landowners, Eileen and Jim Burke, who came from Doddridge County to try and meet with officials about concerns they had about about EQT’s shale gas operations near their property.

Hydraulic Fracturing, commonly called fracking, is a controversial method of natural gas extraction that involves injecting millions of gallons of chemical-laden water deep underground in order to shatter the bedrock and release the gas Continue reading