Tag Archives: west virginia

Alpha Natural Resources Sued for Desecrating Family Cemetary with Mountain Top Removal Mine

30 Aug

by Associated Press / Washington Post

Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, Maria Gunnoe/Associated Press - In this June 2010 aerial photo released Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013 by Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, mining equipment is seen on a mountain top near a cemetery is inside the forested area on that tiny knob of land in the middle of the mine complex. Six southern West Virginia residents are suing Virginia-based Alpha Natural Resources over damage to a family

Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, Maria Gunnoe/Associated Press – In this June 2010 aerial photo released Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013 by Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, mining equipment is seen on a mountain top near a cemetery is inside the forested area on that tiny knob of land in the middle of the mine complex. Six southern West Virginia residents are suing Virginia-based Alpha Natural Resources over damage to a family

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Six southern West Virginia residents are suing Alpha Natural Resources to stop further damage to a family cemetery they say has become “an island in the sky,” barely accessible and literally surrounded by a massive mountaintop-removal mining operation.

They sued Virginia-based Alpha and its Independence Coal Co. subsidiary in Boone County Circuit Court last week after discovering that activity at the Twilight Surface Mine has come within 30 feet of their ancestors’ graves in Jarrell Cemetery.

But Alpha spokesman Ted Pile said late Wednesday the lawsuit has no merit, and allegations that Alpha has “willfully and maliciously” violated a 100-foot buffer zone, toppled headstones and denied relatives access are false.

Alpha has instead “gone above and beyond the letter and spirit of the permit and the law” to protect both the cemetery and the relatives’ access to it, he said. Alpha also is offended by suggestions it would deliberately harm the cemetery, Pile said.

“Our miners are men and women of character who themselves have lost loved ones in the past and understand what these grave sites stand for and mean,” he said.

The cemetery sits on a tiny knob of tree-topped land in the middle of what the Jarrell family descendants say is one of the biggest strip mines east of the Mississippi.

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Activists Boat onto Sludge Pond; Confront Gov. Tomblin on Dangers of Coal Sludge

21 Aug

from RAMPS

Charleston, W.Va. – This morning at 7:30 a.m. two activists paddled out onto the 2.8 billion gallon Shumate slurry impoundment in Raleigh County with banners reading, “Slurry Poisons Appalachia” and “Gov. Tomblin, Put Health Over Profit.”  Later this morning, one activist locked himself to a barrel of black water in front of Gov. Tomblin’s mansion in a Tyvek suit reading “Locked to Dirty Water”.   Activists are calling attention to the failure of the state government to protect its citizens from the abuses of the coal industry and the threats posed by coal slurry disposal.

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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….

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Video: Mountain Mobilization shuts down largest mountaintop removal mine in U.S.

29 Jul

Take Back a Mountain on July 28!

20 Jul
Check out this message from RAMPS, and get out there!
“On Saturday, July 28th, hundreds of us will march onto a strip mine and shut it down. Stand with us as we take action. Concerned community members and activists are preparing to take nonviolent direct action to do what the politicians, the regulators and the courts have been unwilling to do: to defend the land and the people; to stop strip mining 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

Coal River Mountain Treesit Updates

6 Aug

UPDATES!

8/2/2011: After being a participant for 14 days on the still-active treesit at Coal River Mountain, WV, Becks Kolins descended the tulip poplar and was immediately apprehended. In their own words, Becks writes “I am not doing this because I am giving up but rather because I am taking the fight into jail and into the legal system”
Read the full arrest statement written by Becks Kolins in their own words HERE

Becks Kolins has been released without bail after being charged with trespassing, conspiracy and littering. Becks Kolins has also released a follow-up statement about their arrest and what is still to come with this protest: (Excerpt)

“Thank you all for your support; Catherine Ann and I relished in it while we sat, sometimes very bored, in our trees. Although Catherine Ann is up there by herself right now, she remains very strong, and will love the time this solitude will give her with nature. Please continue supporting Catherine Ann and Ramps as she remains in her tree and we continue to stop work on the Bee Tree Hollow Permit!!!

read the full statement here

Catherine-Ann Macdougal is doing well, according to her own words posted on the RAMPS update page.
“We need to fight boldly for our rights and for those of others. Or they will continue to be stripped away, like the forest from this mountain.”

…AND THE TREESIT CONTINUES!!

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.”

International Coal Group Sued over Selenium Pollution from W. Virginia Mine

25 Mar

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) – Three environmental groups sued coal operator ICG Eastern in federal court Wednesday over a Webster County surface mine they say has been discharging toxic selenium into streams for years.

The Sierra Club, the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition and the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy filed the case in U.S. District Court in Elkins over the Knight-Ink No. 1 mine. The complaint alleges violations of both state and federal law, including the federal Clean Water Act and the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act.

Read the rest here.