Bill to Ban Surface Mining in TN!


If you love mountains please contact the Governor of Tennessee! [email protected]. (other contacts)


The tide is turning! This is it. We can kill strip mining for coal in Tennessee for good with your help. This is for all the marbles. In the last year the entire tone of the campaign against strip mining has shifted, the strip mine companies are on the defensive. Now its time for a knock out punch.

A bill was recently written with help from United Mountain Defense which out and out bans strip mining for coal in the State of Tennessee no “ifs”, “ands” or “buts”–a flat out abolishment of the practice known as strip mining for coal. We are not asking for less strip mining, or kinder gentler strip mining–we are demanding the permanent abolishment of this horrendous attack on Tennessee’s jobs, environment and culture.

If you don’t know what strip mining is doing to the Appalachians you are fortunate. It is an ongoing ecological, social and cultural disaster of literally geologic proportions. Entire mountains are being blown up, highland watersheds are being buried forever and the most diverse habitat in the world is being destroyed for short term greed. (

This bill was passed by the Tennessee Student legislature–and now is being passed to Governor Bredesens desk. After a week or so there, it will be introduced and debated by the Tennessee General Assembly. If it becomes law all strip mining for coal in the state of Tennessee will be forbidden by statute.

Needless to say, we need your help now more than ever. We need folks to call, email, write, fax, talk to, petition, fly planes with banners–in every way possible to contact Governor Bredesen and to express support for this bill.

Please be polite! Governor Bredesen has sent clear signals that he is not happy with the strip mining for coal happening in our fair state, as has our general assembly. This is about numbers of supporters for this bill, it is not an adversarial approach.

After the bill leaves Bredesens desk it will goto the general assembly–then we need step 2–begin calling and emailing the general assembly to urge their support for this bill.

Do not be afraid to hit the economics argument first, foremost and head on in this call in campaign. We have a cited point by point, state by state, county by county refutation of any argument that strip mining creates jobs. State data and data from the mining industry itself shows that where ever strip mining has reared its head mining jobs have plummeted.

In Tennessee that’s especially ironic when our number one employer is tourism, mining is not even in the top 10. So don’t be afraid! The economic, social and environmental data is all on our side against strip mining here in Tennessee.

And as the bill makes its way through our assembly you can bet the assemblies of other states will be watching (and hearing) about what Tennessee is doing. In the 70’s it was Tennessee that dealt the final blow through legislation to the so called “broad form deed” which provided much of the momentum for strip mining then. We hope to repeat history. After Tennessee takes this step other states must take the idea more seriously. If we can get Tennessee to do the right thing for its own economic, social and environmental interest (and for its people) other states will come around.

WE NEED YOUR HELP! Don’t send us money! Hows that’s for an argument from an environmental group? Right now we need your voices to be heard in support for this bill. Once during our campaign against a road in Tennessee we got over 45,000 comments in opposition to it–we need that again. This is purely about numbers. We need everyone–SEAC, the Sierra Club, GreenPeace, CRMW, Mountain Justice Summer, EVERYONE to make this a priority. And of course the coal industry is going to freak out at this overt offense against there destruction of our mountains.


Call the Governor’s ethics hotline toll free at toll-free: 1-866-442-9025

Governor’s Office
Tennessee State Capitol
Nashville, TN 37243-0001

Phone: 615.741.2001
Fax: 615.532.9711
Email: [email protected]

Visit Bredesen personally!
Map to his office

Join United Mountain Defense info list:

Other things you can do to help save Tennessee’s Mountains:

Email [email protected] if you can help, have any questions—or if you could forward your comments and what you get back to us.

A bare bones copy of the bill


SECTION 1. Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 59-8-205 is amended by adding the following language as subsection (d):

(d) No permit shall be issued for a surface mine utilized for the purpose of coal mining in the state of Tennessee.

SECTION 2. Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 69-3-107 is amended by adding the following language as an appropriately designated subsection:

() The Commissioner shall not have the authority to issue a permit to an activity prohibited in Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 59-8-205(d).

SECTION 3. This act shall take effect upon becoming law, the public welfare requiring it.

Here is more context.

Here’s what the news below means. College student government members from across Tennessee passed legislation banning strip mining that will go to the desk of governor Bredesen and possibly to the Tennessee state legislature to be made into law. Thanks to Chris Irwin and Gena Lewis for drafting the anti-strip mining bills for us. There will be massive lobbying for this later so keep your eyes open and tell everyone you can to support this. We are potentially on the verge of banning strip mining in Tennessee.

Members of Tennessee Alumni & Students for Sustainable Campuses (TASSC) were busy in Nashville this past weekend at the 2006 Tennessee Intercollegiate State Legislature (TISL). At this annual mock-congress convergence, student leaders from across the state convene to write, debate, and pass legislation just like the actual state legislature. Bills that are passed through both the House and Senate of TISL are ultimately presented to Governor Bredesen for review.

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