>>> Progress in the struggle to preserve American mountainscapes, people, and ecology. Grassroots activists and organizations are utilizing the web to organize empower a clean, humane economy in Appalachia. Their mission: eliminate the mountaintop removal coal mining, the most destructive industrial practice inside US borders.
The following highlights come from Matt Wasson, director of programs @ iLoveMountains.org:
1. In the last two months, the EPA has denied permits to five mountaintop removal projects.
Additionally, the EPA appears determined to toughen review standards for hundreds of other permits
related to Big Coal.
2. Maria Gunnoe, a native of Boone County, West Virginia, and a leading activist against mountaintop removal coal mining won the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize.
3. Last week, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar declared the "stream buffer zone rule" legally defective and filed for the rule to be vacated.
4. Locals in Charlotte, North Carolina, are effectively fighting a new 800 MegaWatt coal-fired power plant.
5. Blair Mountain (West Virginia) - the site of the historic 1921 coal-mining labor battle - has been named to the National Register of Historic Places. The designation marks a major victory in the effort to recognize the role of labor in the cultural history of Appalachia.
The Good News
People care. During its history industrial coal has meant everything to Americans, especially in Appalachia. Coal has served as our most reliable fuel, powering 150 years of world-changing economic progress. But it's also our most destructive fossil fuel when burned, today's "clean coal" sludge pools are arguably the biggest water supply gamble of our times, and meanwhile mountaintop removal mining has already destroyed long-term sustainability all over the region, displaced thousands of workers, and leveled some 470 our majestic, "purple mountains." The time has come for change. Maintaining these practices, at the expense of people and planet now, is no longer acceptable. People everywhere agree, and are working together at all levels of our society, to speed transition -- from coal to sustainable.
Thanks to iLoveMountains for their leadership. Be sure to check out the wonderful resources @ iLoveMountains.org (link below). And have a great month! -- Chris (owner/founder, GoodCommonSense)
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