Posts tagged: coal

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Everyone has The Right To Breathe clean air. Watch a video featuring Earthjustice Attorney Jim Pew and two Pennsylvanians—Marti Blake and Martin Garrigan—who know firsthand what it means to live in the shadow of a coal plant's smokestack, breathing in daily lungfuls of toxic air for more than two decades.

Coal Ash Contaminates Our Lives. Coal ash is the hazardous waste that remains after coal is burned. Dumped into unlined ponds or mines, the toxins readily leach into drinking water supplies. Watch the video above and take action to support federally enforceable safeguards for coal ash disposal.

ABOUT EARTHJUSTICE'S BLOG

unEARTHED is a forum for the voices and stories of the people behind Earthjustice's work. The views and opinions expressed in this blog do not necessarily represent the opinion or position of Earthjustice or its board, clients, or funders.

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View Joan Mulhern's blog posts
20 September 2012, 9:44 AM
Still ferocious in the fight against mountaintop removal mining after all these years
Ken Hechler, thank you and Happy Birthday!  (Photo courtesy of Ken Hechler)

On December 28, 2012, Earthjustice lost its original Mountain Hero, Senior Legislative Counsel Joan Mulhern, who passed away after a long illness. Joan will be greatly missed.
Read Marty Hayden's tribute and a memorial to Joan from the Earthjustice Quarterly Magazine.

 

Ken Hechler is an American hero. He has worked in public service for his entire amazing career; he served in the military, as a White House aide and speechwriter, as a national and statewide elected official in West Virginia, as a member of the U.S. Congress for 20 years, and then as West Virginia Secretary of State. Today, as he turns 98, he is still a dedicated public citizen, especially in his efforts to stop mountaintop removal, the devastating coal mining practice that is destroying the mountains and streams of central Appalachia and threatening the health and lives of people who live in communities surrounded by mines.

No one who has met Ken will ever forget him.

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View Lisa Evans's blog posts
14 September 2012, 11:27 AM
Legislation would prevent EPA from protecting Americans

Seeking protection from unsafe dumping practices, more than 300 public interest groups from 43 states, representing millions across the nation, sent a letter this week to the U.S. Senate opposing S. 3512, the “Coal Ash Recycling and Oversight Act of 2012.”

The bill, introduced last July by Sens. Hoeven (R-SD), Conrad (D-SD) and Baucus (D- MT), prevents the EPA from finalizing its proposed coal ash rule—or ever issuing regulations for the nation’see second largest industrial waste stream. In its place, S. 3512 encourages inadequate state programs that preserve the status quo and extend the lives of hundreds of leaking toxic dumps.

View Liz Judge's blog posts
13 September 2012, 11:28 PM
Live updates from Washington, D.C.

Today's the day that we deliver our Mountain Heroes photo petition to the Obama administration! This massive photo petition is historic—it includes photos and personal messages and stories from more than 13,500 people across the country who wrote to President Obama and his administration for an end to mountaintop removal mining. It's the largest photo petition ever to be delivered to the president, and it's all about ending the nation's most destructive mining practice, protecting Appalachian families and communities, and standing up for clean water, healthy communities, environmental justice, and beautiful mountains and wildlife. (See a photo slideshow of the petition delivery event.)

I can't tell you all how honored I feel in delivering your inspiring and touching messages and images today to our nation's leaders. When I look at this petition and see all your photos and messages, I am moved to my very core. You all have created as powerful and beautiful of a solidarity display as I can imagine.

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View Joan Mulhern's blog posts
10 September 2012, 3:43 PM
Larry Gibson fought to the end against abuse of people, mountains

On December 28, 2012, Earthjustice lost its original Mountain Hero, Senior Legislative Counsel Joan Mulhern, who passed away after a long illness. Joan will be greatly missed.
Read Marty Hayden's tribute and a memorial to Joan from the Earthjustice Quarterly Magazine.

 

The fight to end mountaintop removal will not stop until mountaintop removal stops, but yesterday we lost one of the most beloved heroes and leaders of the movement. Larry Gibson, the Keeper of the Mountains, died on Kayford Mountain, a sacred place he fought for three decades to save. He recalled how, 30 years ago, some people told him that the destruction caused by mountaintop removal and strip mining would be “fixed” in six months.

I first met Larry in 1999 after just joining Earthjustice when Judge Haden in West Virginia ruled, for the first time ever by a federal court, that mountaintop removal was illegal. A huge political and Congressional fight ensued, especially over the Clean Water Act. Larry's effort in Appalachia and around the country—reaching out to young people, members of Congress, non-profit groups and others—was an inspiration. He never gave up.

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View Chris Jordan-Bloch's blog posts
10 September 2012, 12:52 PM
Even though Larry is gone, his fight lives on

Imagine for a moment that you live in a beautiful forest. Your home is on the side of a big mountain. All around it are tall trees and elegant flowers. After a long day of work you come home. You are tired. Dinner smells delicious. You smile at your family. Everyone sits down at the dinner table. You are happy.

Suddenly there is a loud noise.

“What was that,” you wonder.

The noise rings out again. The walls begin to shake—a little at first, then a big shake. You grab your family and hold them close. The shaking continues. The cabinets open. The dishes start falling from their shelves. The sound of exploding glass and ceramics is deafening. You are terrified.

Then everything goes still and quiet.

Kayford Mountain

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View Liz Judge's blog posts
24 August 2012, 1:30 PM
Warren Haynes, My Morning Jacket oppose mountaintop removal mining
Guitarist Warren Haynes has joined the Mountain Heroes campaign.

John Denver’s “Rocky Mountain High” is one song that immediately comes to mind when you think of how music and mountains just naturally go hand in hand. Musicians are been well known for their stances on environmental issues, and artists such as Pearl Jam, The Roots, Jack Johnson, Willie Nelson, Guster, Sheryl Crow, and Moby are all outspoken advocates.

As part of Earthjustice’s Mountain Heroes campaign, two more prolific artists are joining us to stand up against mountaintop removal mining. The first is Rolling Stone’s 23rd greatest guitarist of all time: Warren Haynes. Warren has recorded with artists from every genre, and is best known for his work playing with The Grateful Dead, The Allman Brothers, Phil Lesh & Friends, and his own group, Gov’t Mule. Why has Warren joined us? “I want to save mountains because mountains are majestic!”

Mountain Heroes: Warren Hayes, My Morning Jacket.

View Ted Zukoski's blog posts
17 August 2012, 8:33 AM
Forest Service prefers protecting wildlands, chooses bulldozers anyway
The Sunset roadless area. Ted Zukoski photo (c).

The Forest Service finally admitted it.

It took the agency two environmental assessment drafts and a draft and final environmental impact statement, but they admitted it.

The agency finally admitted that it would be “environmentally preferred” to protect the wildest, most pristine part of the Sunset roadless area in western Colorado from bulldozing for road construction and for scraping well pads to benefit Arch Coal, the nation’s second largest coal company.

The construction of a spider-web of industrial facilities that will take decades to heal will devastate that part of the roadless area the Forest Service itself concluded meets all of the criteria for designation as wilderness—the most protective designation on public lands.

But while the Forest Service concluded it was “environmentally preferred” to protect this remote natural area of ponds and streams, elk and black bear habitat, with its huge spruce and large stands of aspen, the agency also decided on August 10 to approve the most aggressive coal mine expansion for Arch Coal’s West Elk Mine, paving the way for the roadless area’s destruction.

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View David Lawlor's blog posts
13 August 2012, 4:31 PM
Medical professionals concerned about Pacific Northwest coal export projects

(Editor's Note: This is the fifth blog post in an ongoing series about proposed coal export terminals in the Pacific Northwest.)

Dr. Frank James is a member of Whatcom Docs, a group of medical doctors in Whatcom County, Wash., who are concerned about the health impacts of a proposed coal shipping terminal in Bellingham, Wash. The coal export terminal would ship up to 48 million tons of American coal overseas each year. The terminal operation would add approximately 30 miles of coal trains daily to the rail line that runs along the Puget Sound coast.

Dr. James is health officer for San Juan County, Wash. and for the Nooksack Indian Tribe, and a professor of public health at the University of Washington. We recently chatted with Dr. James about the forming of Whatcom Docs and what role the group is playing in the battle over coal export in the Pacific Northwest.

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View Liz Judge's blog posts
08 August 2012, 1:00 PM
Some love stories captured on video

She said, “Do you cheat on me?”
He said, “Sure I do.”

“Do I know her?"
“Sure you do.”

“Is she pretty?”
“Most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen.”

“What’s her name?”
He said, “Kayford Mountain, prettiest lady I ever met.”

This is the story of a man who fell in love with a mountain and his struggle to keep it and all mountains from being destroyed by coal mining.

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View David Lawlor's blog posts
06 August 2012, 1:32 PM
Will the eco-conscious Pacific Northwest become a coal-shipping hub?
Author Wendell Berry has examined the relationship of rural America with the nation’s urban centers.

(Editor's Note: This is the fourth blog post in an ongoing series about proposed coal export terminals in the Pacific Northwest. Upcoming blog posts will examine the potential impact coal export terminals could have on the region's health and environment.)

The television comedy program Portlandia likes to poke fun at the culture of the Pacific Northwest. According to the show, the region is home to bicycle-riding, dumpster-diving, organic-free range-grass fed-biodynamic tree-huggers. And while Portlandia promotes a well-hewn stereotype of the region, there’s something to be said for its portrayal.

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