Mountain Heroes and Citizens Gather at White House To Call on Nation's Leaders To End Mountaintop Removal Mining

A Solidarity Day at White House and historic photo petition delivery to save communities, public health, and mountains


Liz Judge, Earthjustice, (202) 797-5237 or (970) 710-9002 (cell)


Raviya Ismail, Press Secretary, Earthjustice, (202) 745-5221

Where: Lafayette Park, in front of the White House, Washington, D.C.
(Please note: No tripods are allowed in Lafayette Park.)

When: Thursday, September 13, 12:00–1:30 p.m.

Visuals: Appalachian citizens and community leaders, 12 foot-tall-mountains, White House, memorial displays for Mountain Hero Larry Gibson

Who: Citizens, faith leaders, environmental and social justice activists

Participating Organizations: Earthjustice · West Virginia Highlands Conservancy · Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition · Kentuckians For The Commonwealth · Coal River Mountain Watch · Christians For The Mountains· Keeper of the Mountains Foundation · Statewide Organizing for Community eMpowerment · Appalachian Voices· Greater Washington Interfaith Power & Light · The Sierra Club · Waterkeeper Alliance · Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) · Chesapeake Climate Action Network · Energy Action Coalition · · Center for Biological Diversity · Rainforest Action Network

Mountaintop removal mining in Appalachia. (OVEC)

At a lunchtime event on Thursday, September 13, 2012, 12:00–1:30 p.m., more than 30 Appalachian community leaders will be joined by hundreds of supporters and concerned citizens in front of the White House in Washington, D.C., to urge President Obama end mountaintop removal coal mining and to deliver an historic photo petition (of more than 13,000 personal photos and messages) to the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

Mountaintop removal coal mining is a radical form of strip mining in Appalachia that has impacted more than 500 mountains and buried more than 2,400 miles of streams. Recent peer-reviewed scientific studies have shown widespread devastating health problems near mountaintop removal mining: citizens near mountaintop removal are 50 percent more likely to die of cancer and 42 percent more likely to be born with birth defects as compared with other people in Appalachia.

Later that evening, concerned citizens and the Mountain Heroes will be hosting an evening program sharing stories of courage and solidarity, and speaking about the devastating community and health impacts of mountaintop removal coal mining to be held at All Souls Church (1500 Harvard St. NW) starting at 7:00 p.m.

Both events will honor long-time West Virginia activist, Larry Gibson, who recently passed from a sudden heart attack. An internationally recognized figure in the movement, Gibson brought thousands to view mountaintop removal first-hand and inspired thousands more to action through constant speaking tours. Larry protected his family land at Kayford Mountain from mountaintop removal, and then set out to protect the rest of Appalachia from the same threat of destruction.

A few of the more than 13,000 personal photos from the Mountain Heroes petition.
See interactive photo petition wall.

Additional Resources

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Earthjustice is the premier nonprofit environmental law organization. We wield the power of law and the strength of partnership to protect people's health, to preserve magnificent places and wildlife, to advance clean energy, and to combat climate change. We are here because the earth needs a good lawyer.