Virginian’s Take a Stand on Dumping Mine Waste in Appalachian Streams

Here’s a quick and dirty personal report from the Nation Wide Permit – 21 public hearing held in Big Stone Gap, Va a week ago. The Army Corps of Engineers is taking public comment on their proposal to discontinue the use of this permit, which allows coal companies to receive permits for surface mining and the subsequent dumping of mine waste into valley fills without doing an environmental impact statement or holding public hearings. There is also a video put together by Appalachian Voices. You can still comment on the Army Corp’s proposal here. I’ve pasted some reasons you can mention in your comments for why the NWP-21s should not be used any more.

From the Virginia NWP-Hearing

From the West Virginia NWP-Hearing 

Personal report:

There were probably around 700 people total, at least 500 on the industry side, many with black t-shirts with catchy slogans about how coal wont kill people and stuff. They were intimidating, and at the beginning heckled, booed, and threw stuff at our speakers. But, fairly soon into it all, the Army Corps chair of the meeting put his foot down and said we’re gonna keep it civil while people are speaking, and so it was for the most part after that. 

By the end of the night, the room was pretty close to half industry and half not industry supporters. A lot of us walked away feeling pretty good, even victorious. We had stayed civil and respectable, made solid comments that stayed on topic, in the face of ugliness from folks who talked about lots of things besides whether the Corps should suspend the use of NWP 21s.

It was not the craziness of Charleston or Ky, and sounds something akin to Knoxville. We had peacekeepers with white bandannas, we had food that the volunteer house here in APpalachia cooked for everybody. Kathy Selvage and Pete Ramey took the worst from the industry folks, and by the time the endless stream of Virginia Tech students calling for an abolition of climate changing coal said their piece, many of the miners had left for home.  

 

 

Some points you can make when making comments to the Army Corps of Engineers at their online comment area are:

1. I applaud the Army Corps of Engineers for its proposal to end the use of the one-size-fits-all NWP 21 permit which allows for a streamlined approval of mountaintop removal operations in Appalachia. For decades, mountaintop removal and valleyfills have had a devastating impact on local communities, the economy, and our environment.

2. NWP 21 for permitting mountaintop removal mining should apply to the entire Appalachian region, including northern Alabama. Failure to do so might lead the coal industry to simply relocate operations to those areas with the most lenient permitting process.  
3. No grandfathering of permits should be allowed. Past permits should be reviewed to make sure they meet the spirit and intent of the Clean Water Act.

4. NWP 21 should never have been issued, because filling these streams has more than minimal individual and cumulative adverse environmental effects.

5.  The use of NWP 21 is a violation of the Clean Water Act because it is suppose to be used for activities that produce “no significant environmental impact” and the destruction of entire mountains and mountain ranges cannot be considered an insignificant environmental impact.

6. EPA’s own scientists have determined that mountaintop removal and other surface coal mining activities authorized by NWP 21 are causing cumulatively significant degradation of streams and forests in Appalachia – including the destruction of ecologically valuable headwater streams and the pollution of downstream waters.

7. The Corps has long recognized that “the purpose of the NWP program is to reduce regulatory delays and burdens on the public, to place greater reliance on state and local controls, and to free our limited
resources for more effective regulation of other activities with greater potential to adversely impact the aquatic environment.” 56 Fed. Reg. 14, 598—14, 605 (Apr. 10, 1991).

 Possible points to make about this:

a. Constantly fighting coal companies and failed agencies to protect our homes, lives, water, and communities is a much greater burden on
the public.

b.  We have no state or local controls.  WVDEP is a failed agency that fails to control illegal coal company activity.

c.  Nothing adversely impacts the aquatic environment more than burying it.

8. The impacts of mountaintop removal coal mining are significant and permanent, the ArmyCorps should not issue any additional authorizations under NWP 21 while the agency finalizes the process of modifying the permit to prohibit its use in Appalachia.

9. The way the ACOE conducted these hearings was illegal and some of the public hearings amounted to sanctioned riots which coal supporters attended solely to disrupt. By failing to control the meeting process so that all in attendance had equal opportunity to testify, the Corpsbecame a party to the denial of these first amendment rights. The Corps should reschedule these meetings and conduct them in an orderly fashion that protects the first amendment rights of all citizens.

Teaching the post-carbon youth, a curriculum

This is cross posted from the Energy Bulletin. Ive been talking with a few friends since we were about 15 about starting an intentional community some day that would also be a school to teach community, to teach the holistic world of knowledge, to teach liberation, self-sustainability, and to teach change.

My vision for such a thing is to be a whole-life learning center. K-12, and 18-70. The teachers would be students, the teachers would be community members, the teachers would be friends from far away who come to share a unique piece of knowledge when they can. The cirriculum would be history, anthropology, wind mill set up and how to cook a venison meal for 50, after you have learned to spiritually connect with, hunt, skin, tan and store the corporeal manifestation of a deer. Below is curriculum for “K-5” or the youngsters of a community. I think its a cool resource. What do you think?

A K-5 Curriculum for Students in the Post-Carbon Era

by Sarah Rios and Jaime Campos

From the authors:

Will education be important in the post-carbon era?
What will need to be taught?
What skills need to be acquired?
We hope to provide one alternative for educating students, after the fall of empire.

From the Introduction

…Though we base our curriculum off previously established standards, we organized this curriculum based on the ideas set forth by Howard Gardner’s concept of multiple intelligences. Subject areas such as math, reading, writing, music, physical education, and science had preexisting standards that we adapted to fit the ideals of a post-carbon era. These existing standards correlated well to Gardner’s multiple intelligences of mathematical/logical, linguistic, musical, and bodily-kinesthetic. Others, such as interpersonal, intrapersonal, naturalistic, and visual/spatial had no preexisting standards that could be adapted and thus were created from scratch to suit the needs we felt important for that intelligence.

Based on the authors’ statement here, I have pulled out the curriculum for those chapters as I thought they would be the most informative for an EB audience. See below. KS

Gardner stated that these essential differences “challenge an educational system that assumes that everyone can learn the same materials in the same way and that a uniform, universal measure suffices to test student learning. Indeed, as currently constituted, our educational system is heavily biased toward linguistic modes of instruction and assessment and, to a somewhat lesser degree, toward logicalquantitative modes as well.” Gardner further argues that “a contrasting set of assumptions is more likely to be educationally effective. Students learn in ways that are identifiably distinctive. The broad spectrum of students – and perhaps the society as a whole – would be better served if disciplines could be presented in a numbers of ways and learning could be assessed through a variety of means.”

Howard Gardner’s ideas of intelligences emerged from cognitive research and “documents the extent to which students possess different kinds of minds and therefore learn, remember, perform, and understand in different ways,” according to Gardner2. According to this theory, “we are all able to know the world through language, logical-mathematical analysis, spatial representation, musical thinking, the use of the body to solve problems or to make things, an understanding of other individuals, and an understanding of ourselves. Where individuals differ is in the strength of these intelligences – the so called profile of intelligences -and in the ways in which such intelligences are invoked and combined to carry out different tasks, solve diverse problems, and progress in various domains.”

For our purposes each learning style is mentioned in detail prior to each section, but a short description of them follows:

  • Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence deals with the physical experience
  • Interpersonal Intelligence deals with the social experience
  • Intrapersonal Intelligence deals with empathy and reflection of self
  • Linguistic Intelligence deals with the use of words and language
  • Mathematical/Logical Intelligence deals with numbers and logic
  • Musical Intelligence deals with music
  • Naturalist Intelligence which deals with an experience in the natural world
  • Spatial Intelligence which deals with the manipulation of objects in space

Interpersonal Intelligence

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Food-backed Local Money

Cross posted from The Oil Drum. I know Asheville, NC is working on alternative currencies, and many other cities and towns. I dont know of any in Virginia or West Virginia, though if somebody else does, please  let me know.

Image 1. Front and back sides of a Mendo Credits slip. Our first printing of Mendo Credits was for 600 notes sold at $10 each. Proceeds from the sale of Mendo Credits allows us to purchase 8000 pounds of grains and dry beans. Mendo Credits are 100% backed by specific quantities of pinto beans, triticale, and white and brown rice.

As a kid did you ever fantasize about Monopoly game money becoming real? I know I did. Perhaps that’s why I left the printer shop the other day with a sense of bemusement. I had just designed and printed $6000 of money called Mendo Credits. I felt confident that people would accept it, and I also proudly considered that Ben Bernanke doesn’t make money as good as this.

Now before you call the Treasury Department to report me, listen to my story. It may sound funny, but the reality of money is deadly serious. This is perfectly legal and I want you to play copy cat.

Rethinking Food Security

Most institutions, such as food aid NGOs or the US Department of Agriculture, express concern about food security in terms of the ability for low income people to purchase adequate food. This is a valid way to think of food security. If food prices are high relative to income, or if other compelling expenses such as housing, health care and transportation also require a large portion of income, then securing adequate food on an individual or family level will be problematic. Programs that disperse food to the needy, redistribute income through tax policies, assist with the high costs of non-food expenses, guarantee a living wage, etc. all address distribution inequity and are laudable.

But the question I want to ask is whether they are now sufficient? Two unspoken assumptions underpinning the framing food security narrowly as an “income problem” require rethinking.

The first assumption is that enough food can actually be grown and delivered to wherever it needs to go. A study of the intersection of supply limits to water, energy and topsoil combined with climate change should dispel the notion that food abundance can simply be taken for granted. Over 90% of transportation relies on oil, and extraction of oil appears to be entering a permanent global decline. The fuel cost spike of 2008 severely hampered food distribution in some parts of the world. Cheap transportation, which permits food to be grown thousands of miles from where it is eaten, stored in centralized facilities, and delivered daily to where we live, shouldn’t be taken for granted either.

The second assumption is that the money we have now will remain a reliable medium of exchange that enables a smooth flow of production and distribution. Few people realize that most money comes into existence through bank credit that is backed by the borrower’s debt and any collateral. Banks don’t actually have money to lend, they simply decide who is “credit worthy,” and for how much. After a borrower signs the loan documents the bank creates the corresponding money in electronic accounts, such as a checking account. Credit and debt are therefore “flip sides of a coin.” People receiving bank credit are in debt to banks, but, correspondingly, banks are in debt to people for all the deposits on hand. When too many loans default, banks are at risk of defaulting on their own promise to maintain the savings of depositors. This is why credit dries up as debts go bad: As debts are cancelled through bankruptcy then a corresponding level of credit must disappear also. In the present banking system it is mathematically impossible for all loans to return their principal plus interest without a constant expansion of debt/credit. But a system that depends upon unending growth eventually ends. The actions of the Federal Reserve to re-inflate the reserves of the banking system are a desperate attempt to fix something that is permanently broken. Unfortunately, the systemic problems are deeper than the surface actions currently being taken by the Federal Reserve, The U.S. Treasury and the U.S. Government. When I think of the global financial system nowadays what comes to mind is the “Humpty Dumpty” rhyme. Knowing that the debt-based money system we currently rely on is failing, we created Mendo Credits to function without debt or interest.

Food-Backed Local Currency

The money I had printed was created with all the above-mentioned issues in mind: wide income disparity, lack of practical self-reliance, unsustainable agriculture, resource depletion, climate change, a fragile just-in-time delivery system, a failing money system, and rising unemployment. When I said that “Ben Bernanke doesn’t make money as good as this” I meant that today’s dominant money actually creates or exacerbates those troubles, whereas Mendo Credits can be part of their solution.

Along with several other people, I am working with Patty Bruder and Cyndee Logan of a local non-profit called North Coast Opportunities (NCO). NCO mainly provides social services, such as running preschools, senior support, and managing community gardens. Mendo Credits is a new food-backed local currency project partly funded by a grant from the California Endowment. The overall goals of the project are to improve community health, economic vitality and environmental sustainability through local food system development. For as long as I have known Patty and Cyndee they have been thinking about the importance of system change and practical self-reliance. They’d prefer to develop a community garden where low income families can grow their own food rather than hand out meal money.

Image 2. The farms package our orders in what are called 1-ton totes, which are large bags moved on wooden pallets. For comparison, an entire hopper car load would be about 12 tons. A local business that does nearly daily trucking to the Sacramento Valley currently transports our food to their warehouse space, where it is also kept pest free using rodent traps. The warehouse tends to stay cool, but we will have to worry about insects during the heat of summer. We have a commercial scale and household storage buckets available. From left to right: Cyndee Logan, Mike Adair and Patty Bruder fill and weigh buckets in preparation for a distribution day.Historically in the United States and elsewhere, local currencies are known to stabilize local economies when national currencies are troubled, such as bouts of hyper inflation or deflation and joblessness. This works because those accepting local money are also likely to seek out others who accept it too, creating a social dynamic that forms new, local economic associations. As these strengthen, the flow of local money picks up and work can get done even in the face of economic disaster outside the community. Because they can only be spent locally, profits on economic transactions done with a local currency remain in the community and spur more local investment. Local governments, regional business associations, community banks, and worker cooperatives are examples of the kinds of institutions who tend to successfully issue local currency. They have the social capital to be broadly accepted, and the capacity to manage the task of issuing and redeeming money.

Image 3. A great way to spread awareness of the many issues confronting us is by spending Mendo Credits into circulation. The acceptance of money is largely a social phenomenon, and it is too early to say how well Mendo Credits will be recognized as a local currency. On the several occasions where I have tried to so far, I have had no trouble paying individuals using Mendo Credits. For example, the printer of Mendo Credits asked for payment in Mendo Credits. In the example pictured above, my friend Michael Foley opens his wallet to redeem Mendo Credits for food. He is handing over the same bills I paid him for custom tractor work four weeks earlier. Pending sales of rice and beans to a local burrito shop may mean they will begin accepting Mendo Credits for prepared food.Mendo Credits are backed by a tangible asset. In other words, Mendo Credits are a “reserve currency” as opposed to a “fiat currency” like Federal Reserve dollars. Many people are familiar with money backed by gold, which was once the case with U.S. dollars, but Mendo Credits are backed by reserves of stored food. Our reserve currency has a number of desirable properties at this time in history.

The asset value of Mendo Credits remains stable over a significant time period because we lock in an exchange rate for specific quantities of food for one year from the date of issue. Whereas gold and silver are inedible, Mendo Credits can be redeemed for the sustenance of life. When you hold a Mendo Credit note, you know it represents the quantity of food printed on its face and, if you want or need to, you can actually get that food.

Mendo Credits help with our goal of greater community self-reliance by directing investment towards essential long-term capital. For example, if a small grain silo costs $5000 to build, credits can be issued with prices that reflect both the cost of grain and storage. Eventually, local farmers could be contracted to supply grains and dry beans to our silos. Our land base would then have higher value and be able to support more jobs.

Image 4. People redeem Mendo Credits for food in downtown Willits, such as the Community Center pictured here. As our stores become depleted we can decide to issue a new batch of currency. Profits from previous sales plus income from the new Mendo Credits can form the capital to buy more food and replenish our stocks. We encourage household storage and consumption so that the population has their own food buffer and we can expand our capacities.Currently we buy grains and beans from farms about 150 miles away, which is as close as we can locate. These farms are organic and family owned. The point is that we can decide to support agricultural best practices and once we establish relationships with farmers and become significant buyers, we can seek improvements when warranted.

Our goal to move product aligns with the needs of households to be financially frugal and eat healthy foods. We are selling organic grains and beans at lower prices than in stores, and are developing informative guides for preparing meals around whole and seasonal foods. Our guides also help families assess how much they eat to decide how many Mendo Credits to buy and whether they want to store significant amounts in their home. Emergency preparedness is enhanced as more families buy in bulk, habitually eat, and restock their food stores.

Image 5. Mendo Food Futures is developing guides for using wholesome, locally grown and potential storage foods in everyday meals and snacks. For example, make your own energy bars with minimally processed grains, toasted nuts, dried fruit and honey. No baking or refrigeration required, and almost universally loved.Mendo Credits in Practice

When I told my friend Sara about Mendo Credits she beamed with delight, opened her wallet, and showed me an UDIS. A Honduran food and farmer cooperative, COMAL, issues its own local currency called the UDIS for many of the same reasons we started Mendo Credits. It was great to learn that these same ideas had already taken hold elsewhere and have a record of success.

Mendo Credits are just beginning to circulate in the town of Willits, CA and we hope this spreads around our region. Four central downtown businesses are serving as sales outlets for the new currency: The Bank of Willits, Mendonesia Café, The Book Juggler, and Leaves of Grass Bookstore. NCO also sells them at the Willits Farmers’ Market.

Image 6. Four downtown businesses sell Mendo Credits. Pictured here is Bank of Willits President Richard Willoughby, who proudly sells Mendo Credits and calls them “real money.”A local business is currently assisting with transportation and storage. Their truck picks up from farms in the Sacramento Valley and hauls one ton totes on pallets to their warehouse. We transfer from the totes into 3.5 or 5 gallon buckets and take these to a convenient downtown location for distribution. To make it quick and easy to distribute grains and beans, we only sell in specified increments as given on each Mendo Credits slip. For example, 11 lbs of rice can be redeemed for a single Mendo Credits note. We have several buckets of rice to distribute from, each one containing about 40 lbs of rice. When a customer wants to redeem a note for rice, we can place their container on our commercial scale, zero the readout, and pour out 11 lbs.

Mendo Credits are a 100% reserve currency with each note representing some fixed quantity of food. Therefore, the Mendo Credits brought to us for redemption are moved out of circulation. However, redemption of Mendo Credits signals a potential demand, which allows us to issue new notes. We have to watch our supplies of grains and beans and estimate future demand. At some point before all our current food stores are claimed we will issue more Mendo Credits. A combination of profits from previous sales plus the income from new notes, which may not be sold out yet, can go towards buying more food supplies.

This is a small beginning but we are already looking at what it would entail to expand Mendo Credits significantly. We have cost estimates for building large silos along the railroad tracks, for example, and are actively raising funds for several small silos in the meantime. The investment required is substantial, but compared to what our society typically spends it looks like a bargain. For perspective, the storage capacity to hold enough grains and dry beans to feed the Willits area (about 14,000 people) for one month costs $120,000. A half million dollars would build the silos, fill them with food, and give us the peace of mind of a one month supply of food for the community, and potentially spawn a revitalization of the local food system, including jobs in farming, food processing, waste recapture, and transportation.

Image 7. Willits is geographically rather isolated, and local officials are concerned about food security with respect to transportation failures. No significant food storage exists in the area, with surveys showing less than a week of food in grocery stores. County Sheriff Tom Allman says a major earthquake could easily isolate us for a month. Patty Bruder (left) and Cyndee Logan (right) of Mendo Food Futures discuss the possible placement of grain and bean silos on City of Willits property adjacent to railroad tracks with the City’s Community Development Director Alan Falleri.Initial enthusiasm suggests that Mendo Credits will begin circulating like cash within town. However, since the supply of Mendo Credits is limited to the supply of grains and beans in storage, they can’t become a dominant means of exchange until our local economy has very large storage facilities and is on its way towards food self-sufficiency. In the meantime, they are a fantastic educational device and may spur investment towards local food security.

References

A good introduction to local currencies can be found online at: http://www.feasta.org/documents/shortcircuit/index.html?sc3/c3.html and Big Gav wrote a nice article about them too: http://anz.theoildrum.com/node/4633

Treating food security as an income issue is evident by questions in this survey: http://www.fns.usda.gov/fsec/FILES/FSGuide.pdf

For further explanations of how our present financial system works see: http://www.chrismartenson.com/ and http://www.moneyasdebt.net/

An article in English about the UDIS can be found here: http://www.new-ag.info/09/01/develop/dev3.php

Energy Bar Recipe

Ingredients
• 1 cup finely chopped nuts and seeds
• 3 cups rolled oats
• 1 ¼ cups dried fruit, half finely chopped (size of small raisin or less) other half pureed.
• 1 ½ cups cereal
• 1 ½ cups water
• ¾ cup honey
• ½ teaspoon salt
• 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 2 teaspoons of seasonings (e.g., vanilla extract, cinnamon, etc.)
Instructions
Lightly toast the nuts and rolled oats. Combine toasted nuts and oats with chopped dried fruit. Boil water, add cereal, stir and then let sit for 3 minutes. Mix pureed fruit, honey, oil, salt and spices into hot cereal and keep on low heat for 7 minutes. Combine all ingredients, press into ca. 9 x 13 inch pan and let sit for 3 hours. Cut into bars and store in covered container.

Local, Local, Local

My ideal social ideology is libertarian socialism. I believe in localized, non-hierarchical, self-governed communities with shared resources and lack of oppressive social hierarchies that cause and reinforce harmful social dynamics. I think there are inherit flaws in capitalism that cannot be remedied with market-based or state-created solutions. This being said, I find the need to write on how this affects my everyday life and my activism.2378897283_f799b3b3e0_m1

In relating my ideal social ideology to most people, the immediate response is that the abolition of the state would never work because there would be chaos and power-hungry people which would result in mass-violence. Or they try to fit this ideology within the framework of electoral politics, also declaring it would never work. Of course libertarian socialism would not work in the context of our nation, that goes against its own definition and theory! No radical believes that libertarian socialism would be the ‘policy’ of a nation. It is highly localized and obviously cannot be ‘applied’ to a community from the top down. With that said, most of the radicals I know and work with believe that the creation of their ideologies in their own lives and communities will reduce the reliance on the capitalist economy at least on a personal level, and in theory will make the ‘state’  less powerful by the creation of alternative institutions and ideas.

Therefore, my actions lead not to the direct abolition of the state. The purpose of my activism is to do what is within my reach to end social and environmental injustice caused by or perpetuated by oppressive hierarchies and power dynamics, and to participate in the creation of non-hierarchical alternative institutions. Contrary to popular belief about anti-authoritarian activists, my activism is not centered around urgently trying to impose my ideal society in the current context of our nation, as that would be unrealistic, contradictory, and unproductive. Rather, my ideal social ideology serves as a framework for my community relations, friendships, projects, attention, and opinions.

Bailout for Laymen

Collapse

The below comes from the blog “green with a gun” and its the most accessible recap of the U.S. Financial bailout from a few weeks ago that I’ve seen, and generally about the state of the great American Empire. The emperor has changed this week, and that’s a big deal, but he knows as well as us permaculture, climate change, environmental justice activists do, that the change and the crisis facing this land can only be adequately confronted by individuals, by each of us, taking up responsibility for the construction of our reality, and making it something habitable for our grandchildren.  Sharon over at on Casaubon’s Book has got another great post talking about the changes we must all deal with today :

At fundamental levels, our structures must change – we must take back the power that has been stripped from the people over the last decades, and particularly over the last eight years.  We must find new ways to organize ourselves in order to meet basic needs, and in order to find a way to live that keeps at its center, the future of the next generations.

What we make of our coming decline/crash/change remains to be seen. History and geopolitical observers and the reality of peak oil point to a future where the USA can no longer be considered a “super power”. I think this is ok, and that it is THE opportunity for our generation to redefine and live humility, morality, justice and sustainability.

Bailout for Laymen: Actual title:

The USA’s decline as a Great Power

As I write this, the US Congress has rejected the Administration’s plan to have $700 billion to buy the bad debts of US banks. [Edit on 04Oct2008- and now they’ve accepted it. Apparently they couldn’t afford $700 billion, but they could afford $700 billion + $100 billion tax cuts – so they increase the national debt while decreasing the revenue they’ll use to pay it back. Hmmmm…. brilliant forward planning!] This rejection is a bit surprising, though perhaps it shouldn’t be. No doubt the Congresspeople are being bombarded by their constituents telling them to vote against it. The people imagine that the bailout is to protect the rich, but in fact it’s to protect everyone. Of course it won’t work, but that’s the intention.

As I see it, the US banking mess is like the war in Iraq, in that they shouldn’t be in this mess in the first place, but now that they’re in it there are no easy solutions.

Debts bad and good
It all began with CDOs, Collateralised Debt Obligations, where they mixed bad debts with good and called the package good, high credit rating. It’s a bit like getting pet mince and premium mince, mixing them together and calling them premium. The crisis has come from everyone finally admitting it was partly pet mince – and they’re not sure how much of the stuff is spread around other meats. How do you separate the edible mince from non-edible afterwards? Well, this bailout plan was a plan to do that – the US government would buy the bad debts and take them all on.
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A Weekend in Wise

Come to Southwest Virgina for a Weekend in Wise, a Weekend for the Mountains
The people of Southwest Virginia are not giving up…and neither should you
A chance to see the mountains and meet the people threatened by corporate greed, and to stand together for a sustainable future!



Join us for a Weekend in Wise County, in the incredible mountains of Appalachia. The weekend will include tours of Mountaintop Removal sites, service projects, local music, hiking and canoeing trips, as well as trainings on how to bring the fight for a clean energy future back to your own home town. Meet the folks leading the charge against the greed of coal and energy companies by standing up for a brighter future. See the beauty of the land we are all fighting to protect, and see the devastation that threatens the future of Appalachia.
Events will begin on Friday evening at 8 p.m. and will end on Sunday at 5 p.m. with a Prayer Vigil for the Future of SW Virginia. Friday night will include dinner, a movie and an update on the state of the campaign to stop Dominion’s dirty coal plant in Wise County.
Plan to stay Sunday afternoon for a Prayer Vigil for the Future of Southwest Virginia with Christians for the Mountains. The vigil will take place from 5 – 6 p.m. in Wise County.

Where: Wise County, Virginia
When: September 12 -14
Why: To learn about mountaintop removal and to experience the beauty of Southwest Virginia.
What to Bring: You, your family, your friends, a tent and sleeping bag for camping (other options are available by request), a camera, notebook, and an open mind.

Food and accommodations will be provided at no cost, but donations will be gladly accepted to support local efforts. Travel scholarships are available by request.

Stay Tuned for more information, or go ahead and email your questions. An agenda will be posted shortly.
To all Virginian Climate activists, a space is set aside Sunday for a planning session for Virginia Power Shift.
This is our opportunity to stand together, across the region, to say “No Mountaintop Removal! No New Dominion Coal Plant in Wise County” and “YES Clean Renewable Energy, NOW!” Together, let’s show Dominion that we’re not backing down.