February 3, 2009: Please help save Coal River Mountain!

Call Governor Manchin at 1-888-438-2731 and / or use our simple web form to e-mail the governor.

This morning five activists were arrested after locking down to a bulldozer and excavator on Coal River Mountain. They had giant banners that read “Save Coal River Mountain” and “Wind Mills NOT Toxic Spills.”

This afternoon, local residents, friends and allies from across Appalachia will gather to demonstrate against Massey Energy’s preparation for blasting on Coal River Mountain. Massey’s bulldozers have razed a huge mud pit and torn down trees on the mountain, and the first blasts permitted would be next to the world’s largest toxic coal slurry impoundment.

That’s right, not only is Massey planning to blow up an ideal site for a wind farm, but they will risk destabilizing a nine-billion-gallon toxic coal slurry dam.

Coal River Mountain is slated for a 6,600-acre mountaintop removal site, but local residents have developed plans for a wind farm there instead. The wind farm would provide over a million dollars more in tax revenue per year than the mountaintop removal site, and would provide jobs and clean energy forever. Citizens have been working to convince West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin to support their plan for their community, but they’re running out of time.

That’s why we need your help! You can join us by calling Gov. Manchin at 1-888-438-2731 and / or using our simple web form to email the governor. Tell him that West Virginia and the nation are ready for a clean energy future, and that he MUST Stop the Blasting! on Coal River Mountain. E-mails are great, but calls are better! http://www.coalriverwind.org/?page_id=119

Please support this effort by donating funds at: http://www.coalriverwind.org/?page_id=26


NEWS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb. 3, 2009

Contact: Charles Suggs 304-854-7372

Activists arrested opposing mountaintop removal, blasting beside nine-billion-gallon toxic coal sludge dam


Operation endangers community, destroys wind energy potential.

PETTUS, W.Va.—Five activists with Climate Ground Zero and pan-Appalachian Mountain Justice (www.mountainjustice.org) have been arrested and charged with tresspassing after locking down to a bulldozer and a backhoe this morning at a Massey Energy mountaintop removal mine site.

“Massey could flood the towns of Pettus, Whitesville and Sylvester with toxic coal sludge,” said Julia Bonds, of Rock Creek, W.Va. “Blasting at a multi-billion-gallon sludge lake over underground mines could cause the sludge to burst through and kill thousands of people.”

“The governor and county legislators have failed to act, so we’re acting for them,”Rory McIlmoil said. “They shouldn’t allow the wind potential on Coal River Mountain to be destroyed, and the nearby communities endangered, for only 17 years of coal. There is a better way to develop the mountain and strengthen the local economy that will create lasting jobs and tax revenues for this county, and that’s with wind power.”

Massey has begun work on the proposed mountaintop removal operation on Coal River Mountain, the same site where residents are advocating for a wind farm as a safe alternative for cleaner energy and long-term jobs (www.coalriverwind.org).

Massey also operated the Martin County, Ky., sludge dam that released approximately 300 million gallons of coal waste that broke through into underground mines in 2000. The EPA called that the worst environmental disaster in the Southeast. Then, in December 2008, a coal ash sludge impoundment operated by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) failed near Harriman, Tenn. That disaster released over one billion gallons of toxic sludge that destroyed three homes, damaged twelve more and covered 300 acres.

“We can’t trust Massey to protect the community, and we certainly don’t trust the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection to keep us safe,” said Bo Webb of Naoma, W.Va. “Both have proven that profits come before citizens’ safety.” A 2008 report by the federal Office of Surface Mining revealed serious deficiencies in the WV DEP’s regulation of coal waste dams (www.wvgazette.com/News/200901110512?page=1&build=cache). In November, DEP approved a permit revision allowing Massey to begin the mountaintop removal operation. Despite citizens’ objections, DEP denied public participation in its decision making process.

For updates, photos and video footage, go to http://climategroundzero.org.

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