Wind on Rocky Tops

For the last year, folks over in the Coal River Valley of West Virginia have been working to create the future of sustainable energy in the coal state, with a project that could very well change the paradigm in the fight for Environmental Justice and the future of this land.

But Massey energy and their State cronies are passing the buck, as you can see below (with video), and, as always, its up to the people to do the right thing.

“Charleston, W. Va. (WSAZ)–Neighbors and environmental groups rallied Tuesday night at the state capitol, hoping to create an alternative energy source for a proposed mountain top removal site on Coal River Mountain in Raleigh County.

Their proposal still allows for underground mining, which would save the top of the mountain for a wind farm.

Massey Energy has most of the permits it needs, but they’re urging Governor Manchin to step in and rescind permits.

They also handed over a petition with about 10-thousand signatures.

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McCain: ‘I Do’ Support An End To Mountain-Top Removal

Reposted from

I think this is important, but I hesitate to think that either candidate will do anything substantial to halt the raping of Appalachia. This battle is up to the people, and we are fighting it with fervor (see yesterday’s posts) unmatched by any progressive, conservative, sympathetic, maverick, popular or well-funded politician out there. Up the revolution!

In a townhall meeting yesterday in Orlando, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) was asked if he supported an end to the environmentally and ecologically destructive practice of mountaintop removal coal mining. His reply:

I do.

Mountaintop removal is decimating Appalachia — 25 percent of Wise County’s historic mountain ranges have been destroyed forever.

McCain couldn’t let well enough alone. He then incoherently continued, “I’ve seen a dramatic improvement in the behavior of the coal companies. . . They are doing a much better job.”

McCain’s answer may have been influenced by the many coal lobbyists running his campaign, like Frank Donatelli (Dominion Resources), Jerry Kilgore (Alpha Natural Resources), and Nancy Pfotenhauer (Koch Industries). In the past eight years, the use of mountaintop removal — destructively blowing up mountain peaks to reach coal seams with as few workers as possible — has steadily risen. Coal companies are making record profits by exploiting workers and raping the land at an ever faster clip. Here are just a few of the crimes and misbehaviors of King Coal in recent years:

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Dominion’s CEO Punk’d

Cross posted from Rainforest Action Network’s blog, The Understory

Dominion gets hit twice in the same day, and coal is just looking wobblier and wobblier.

Just back from Bank of America’s 38th annual investors conference at the Ritz here in San Francisco.  Thomas F. Farrell, II, the esteemed notorious CEO of Dominion (and member of the UVA board of Visitors) was presenting to analysts on the company’s financial outlook. Fortunately, we were also there to greet him too.

Mid-way through his podium presentation, however, images of this morning’s protest popped up on one of the screens behind him. Unaware that his power point had been modified, Farrell waxed on about the bright future of coal as confused murmurs began to emanate from the audience of analysts and investors.

After the presentation, a member of the audience asked if Dominion planned to phase out of “dirty coal” given the near certainty of climate change and congressional action to limit fossil fuels. To make a long, stumbling story short: “no”. Next, I stood up to ask why not.  Again, to paraphrase: “because there’s lots of coal, so we’re going to burn it.”

Great.  Good plan. Meantime, we’ll keep prodding Dominion, its investors and other industry fossils toward a future that meets the climate challenge. Notice to Wall Street: The ostrich strategy isn’t working.

Peaceful Protesters Lock their Bodies to Dominion Power Plant

Update: After four hours blockading the construction site this morning, 11 protesters were arrested and charged with trespassing and unlawful assembly. They are currently being held in nearby Duffield jail. As of 2:30 Monday afternoon they are still being processed, and bail is not yet set. Check back here or here for details.

At roughly 6 A.M. this morning more than 20 peaceful protesters locked themselves to steel barrels with functional solar panels attached at the construction site for a giant new coal-fired power plant in Wise County, VA. Right now, at 7:33A.M. the lockdown, which is the first project of Rainforest Action Network’s new Action Tank, continues at the site where Dominion Virginia wants to build a 585 megawatt plant. Pictures from the action deployment are up on RAN’s Flickr site and you can follow all the news and updates today at more coming soon to itsgettinghotinhere later.

activists lock down at SW Virginia Coal Plant Construction Site in St. Paul VA

activists lock down at SW Virginia Coal Plant Construction Site in St. Paul VA