Tag Archives: mountaintop removal

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

A Call For More Meeting Disruptions!

24 Apr

by Rabb!t / Earth First! Newswire

As the saying goes: dress for the job you want [to undermine], not the one you have [been].

Lately, environmental activists have been shedding the flannels and camo and straightening their ties in order to infiltrate meetings, conferences and symposiums, disrupting dirty energy projects at the point of decision. Not only can you stop a lot of bulldozers by interrupting the executives who order the bulldozers—you also get to see the looks on those execs’ faces as they realize that all their power and money suddenly appear insubstantial in the face of passionate cries and steel bicycle locks.

pnc-protest_original

Just yesterday, the Pittsburg Post-Gazette reported, protesters fed up with mountaintop removal coal mining crashed PNC Financial Services Group’s annual shareholder’s meeting. According to participants, PNC is one of the nation’s largest financiers of mountaintop coal mining. The activists, most of whom were from the Earth Quaker Action Team, called out the names of board members and asked them to state their position on mountaintop removal. PNC’s chairman and CEO, James Rohr, tried to continue the meeting in spite of the disturbance, but finally gave up, calling the meeting off about 15 minutes after it started.

[Update: Read George Lakey’s personal account of the action here]

Continue reading

Jail Support Needed for RAMPS Arrestees

6 Aug

Supporting those who choose to risk arrest and are given jail time is a critical component of direct action. We keep in close contact with folks who end up spending time in the jail system, and encourage you to do the same! We also work with families and loved ones of those who are incarcerated to support them through this process as much as possible.

“At this point of unimaginable threats on the horizon, this is what hope looks like. In these times of a morally bankrupt government that has sold out its principles, this is what patriotism looks like. With countless lives on the line, this is what love looks like, and it will only grow.”  -Tim DeChristopher
“As someone who spent sixty days in jail for direct action in West Virginia, I cannot comprehensively convey to others the critical importance of those on the outside who supported me. I have been on both sides of the glass, and know that the knowledge that others are holding you in their hearts and minds can lift you to a place where no walls, no barbed wire, and no chains can bind you.” -Jacqueline Quimby

donate to RAMPS defense fund….

Continue reading

Help the Defenders of the Oldest Mountains in the World

29 Jul

There were 20 folks arrested at this action each with a bail of $25,000, for a combined bail of $500,000 — please spread this plea for solidarity.

Bryan Garcia of Katuah Earth First! at Ramps Campaign Mountain Mobilization, shutting down Hobet the largest mountaintop removal mine in the U.S. Bryan’s bail is set at $25,000.

Donate to the Legal Fund here. Help any way you can.

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

Rainforest Action Network: Eight Arrested During Protest at Bank of America Headquarters

16 Nov

Photo Credit: Rainforest Action Network

Eight people arrested protesting Bank of America’s reckless financing practices, including the banks role as the lead financier of coal. Two people were arrested after unfurling a banner reading “Not with Our Money” from atop two 50-foot flagpoles at the entrance of Bank of America’s headquarters in downtown Charlotte. Six more were arrested below: two while supporting the climbers, and four while blocking the main entrance to the bank’s headquarters.

“As the authorities attempt to evict Occupy protestors from public spaces, they are going to start showing up at Bank of America doorsteps across the country. Bank of America is in the center of the Occupy Movement because of its reckless financial practices that put profit before people and planet,” said Amanda Starbuck, Rainforest Action Network’s Energy and Finance Campaign Director. “If Bank of America would like to regain the trust of the 99 percent, it must adopt sound economic and environmental policies that reflect the values of its customers. Bank of America can start by getting out of bed with the coal industry, and shifting its funding toward renewable energy sources that will have long term benefits for our environment, our health and our economy.”

“Bank of America is foreclosing on our neighbors and it’s foreclosing on our climate. To be honest, I’m embarrassed that I’m still a customer,” said Jamie Trowbridge, an Appalachian State University student who was one of the two climbers arrested at today’s protest. “Coal is dirty at every stage in its lifecycle. No longer will Bank of America fund coal with my money. When I get back to school, I’m going to cut up my BoA debit card, and help other students do the same.”

In the past two years alone, Rainforest Action Network has found that Bank of America has pumped $4.3 billion into the U.S. coal industry; $1.3 billion more than other top banks. With today’s protest, environmentalists have joined the mounting outrage at Bank of America’s reckless financing practices, a critique which has been on display with the Occupy Movement and with the record transfer of customer accounts to credit unions. According to the Credit Union National Association, 700,000 consumers across the nation have joined credit unions since Sept. 29 and credit unions have added $4.5 billion in new savings accounts.

Bank of America funds every sector of the U.S. coal industry, including companies that operate the most controversial coal-fired power plants and the most devastating forms of strip mining, including mountaintop removal coal mining. Today’s action comes only a month after RAN announced its Not One More Dollar for Campaign, which asks Bank of America customers to close their accounts until Bank of America stops subsidizing the coal industry.

The international environmental group has garnered the support of thousands of Bank of America customers, who in the last few weeks have pledged to close their accounts, citing the bank’s insistence on underwriting the coal industry. Coal is responsible for 40 percent of greenhouse gas emissions and the U.S. is the world’s second largest coal producer. Coal-fired energy generation is responsible for pollutants that damage cardiovascular and respiratory health and threaten healthy child development.

For full article see source as cross-posted from here

Another related article here

March on Blair Mountain to stop MTR Coal Mining, June 5-11, 2011

16 May

Blair Mountain

By Rising Tide North America

Dear Friends–
If it was easy, they wouldn’t call it a “struggle.”

In 1921, 15,000 miners took up arms against the coal industry’s gun thugs and fought for the basic right to live and work in decent conditions. It was the second largest armed insurrection in the US history (after the Civil War) and the only time the US government used airplanes to drop bombs on it’s own people. The Battle of Blair Mountain has become an historic symbol of resistance against King Coal. Now, greedy coal companies have removed it’s historical preservation status and begun to strip mine Blair Mountain.

In fierce resistance, Appalachian residents most harmed by mountaintop removal coal mining are joining together with union rank and file, retired miners, environmentalists, students, teachers and more for a historic march and direct action to commemorate the battle’s 90th anniversary from June 5-11. And Rising Tide North America will be joining them.

JOIN THE MARCH ON BLAIR MOUNTAIN

The March on Blair Mountain builds on the energy of Appalachia Rising, which brought thousands to the streets of Washington D.C. last September, and spread to Kentucky where dozens occupied their governor’s office for justice in their state and the region last February.

Now we are bringing the movement to Blair Mountain.

Thanks for all you do.
For the mountains,
Rising Tide North America
http://risingtidenorthamerica.org

Biggest Financers of Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining Exposed

6 Apr

Cross Posted from Treehugger.com Image: Jake McClendon via flickr

PNC, Citi, and UBS are the top three financial enablers of mountaintop removal coal mining, according to a new report by Rainforest Action Network and the Sierra Club that ranks ten of the world’s largest banks.

These ten banks have provided more than $2.5 billion (in 16 loans and bond underwriting deals) to mountaintop removal companies since January 2010, according to the report.

The groups behind the report say that five banks have issued new policies on mountaintop removal since last year’s report card: Chase, Wells Fargo, PNC, UBS, and Credit Suisse.

Credit Suisse had the best record this year: “The bank has no exposure to coal-mining companies that practice mountaintop removal extraction,” writes RAN.

They had this to say about the worst-performing banks:

Citi–despite announcing a public policy on MTR extraction in 2009, the bank has since doubled its exposure to the sector. UBS–immediately after announcing a policy stating that it “needs to be satisfied that the client is committed to reduce over time its exposure to this form of mining,” the bank acted as an advisor on the Massey-Alpha combination deal. That deal created the largest single mountain top removal company in the country, responsible for fully 25% of coal production from MTR mines.

“Mountaintop removal coal mining has no place in a clean energy economy, and the banks that finance this destructive practice deserve our scrutiny,” said Mary Anne Hitt of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign. “Those who fund mountaintop removal coal mining are lighting the fuse that leads to the devastation of communities, waterways and landscapes across Appalachia.”