and Arrests of Summer
Participants denounced Massey's plan to blast for mountaintop removal 100 feet from Brushy Fork. The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection has approved permits, submitted by Massey Energy, for a 6,450-acre strip mine around the impoundment. Massey's plan includes blasting on top of one of the ridges of the dam, which sits above a honeycomb of abandoned underground mines. The emergency evacuation plan for the Brushy Fork sludge dam states that should it fail, a wave of coal slurry 50 feet high would hit Whitesville and result in the deaths of at least 998 people. Participants called instead for an alternative to the strip mine - the installation of a wind farm on Coal River Mountain, which will provide jobs and energy without increasing the risk of catastrophe associated with the Brushy Fork dam.
In total, 17 people were arrested during the noon protest and the two direct actions. Nine sent to the Southern Regional Jail were held on an unprecedented - and likely illegal - $2,000 cash-only bail. Supporters feverishly raised $6,000 overnight (they would have had the full $18,000 had there not been problems with wire transfers of money). Three people with the most pressing needs were bailed out by Sunday morning. More bail money came in, and more were released over the weekend. Four remained in jail until yesterday, Tuesday, the first working day after the holiday weekend.
If you missed all that went on over the holiday weekend, check Mountain Justice and Climate Ground Zero websites for video, photos and new releases. Please click on the donate button to give to the revolving bail and legal funds. To keep up with the news on the protests, remember that OVEC gathers and posts relevant news links daily.
More to come... and we will need you to help keep up the pressure!
On Saturday June 13, The JOBS Project invites residents of coalfield communities to a cook-out at the Southern W.Va. Community and Technical College, Williamson Campus (Mingo County) for workshops, live music, and plenty of food. JOBS - Just and Open Businesses that are Sustainable.
Join us for the first Energy Independence Day.
FREE Food & Music - 11:00-5:00
Workshop A - 11:00 - Energy Efficiency in Schools, National Energy Education Development (NEED)
Workshop B - 11:00 - Building Greenhouses & Nutrition, SunCatcher Design Group
Workshop C - 2:00 - Community Owned Power Generation, Windustry
Several private and public organizations will table the event with information and resources about renewable energy and sustainable industries in our region.
Got Kids? The Web of Life Ecology Center will host activities for young people during the workshops.
Doug Keaton leads a hands-on, technology based curriculum to improve energy efficiency and reduce power bills for his high school. His students apply what they learn outside of the classroom doing energy audits for homes and local businesses and encouraging communities to save money and energy on heating, cooling, and lighting. In addition, Doug's students are challenged to understand and operate renewable energy technology including wind turbines and solar panels.
National Energy Education Development (NEED) offers materials and resources that meet K-12 science, language arts, social studies, and technology standards and can be incorporated into existing curriculum to keep students interested and involved in learning. NEED's Kids Teaching Kids approach gives students skills and opportunities to engage their local communities in extended learning.
Mike Duus is working with students to complete the first commercial-sized greenhouse (828 square ft) at their high school. There are very few passive solar greenhouses in the world of this size. Mike's students are doing all of the work themselves, and will walk away with the knowledge to build smaller versions based on the same design. The work serves to connect students to their dietary choices and provides healthy produce for school lunches. Students learn about agriculture, passive solar design, physics, and sustainable building practices.
The principle designers of SunCatcher Design Group have worked in solar design for more than 30 years. The SunCatcher greenhouses make growing food possibleyear-round, eliminate heating costs, reduce transportation costs, and increase local food security.
Lisa M. Daniels, Executive Director and founder of Windustry, has been providing wind energy information and technical assistance to farmers, ranchers, elected officials, rural utilities and other interested groups since 1995. Currently, Lisa leads Windustry’s contracts with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and as a partner on the Wind Powering America Initiative with the U.S. Department of Energy. She was recognized in 2005 for her work with Wind Powering America’s Agriculture Outreach Team. Lisa promotes progressive renewable energy solutions and empowers communities to develop wind energy as an environmentally sustainable, community-owned asset.
Respectful note: This event is for community members, county officials, renewable energy businesses and supporting organizations. We hope that by bringing these groups together we can begin to work towards positive, sustainable solutions by working for a unified goal of transition despite our various beliefs. JOBS’ primary focus is the community, and it is for this reason that we ask that all groups to please respect the exclusive nature of this event. Our focus is to provide solutions rather that highlighting the problems. This is not an anti-mountaintop removal or pro-coal event. This event is a proactive step towards diversifying the mono-economies found in the majority of coal dependent regions of Appalachia, the communities that will suffer the most from transitional policies, such as a cap and trade program.
Needed For Mountain Aid Concert
We need volunteers to make this event a success. Volunteers work a three-hour shift in return for a pass. Our highest need is breakdown the day after the event. Click here for more information and to volunteer.
In West Virginia:
June 1 and 2, 10:00 a.m. Raleigh County Courthouse, 215 Main St., Beckley, W. Va. Please come out for hearings for folks involved in the first wave of non-violent civil disobedience (for more on the March 3 actions, click here). They will be arguing for the temporary restraining order to be vacated and Massey will try to explain the damages the company want some of the activists to pay. It should be very interesting in the courtroom. Please come out to show your support and bring your friends!
May 30 - June 30, 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.: "Awareness,"
an art exhibit sponsored by OVEC. Free. From traditional fine art
mediums to taxidermy, an exhibition of five visual artists raising
awareness of environmental issues surrounding everyday life. Venue:
Habitat for Humanity Restore, 815 Young Street, Charleston, W.Va.
Opening reception is June 24, 6-8 p.m.
Tuesday, June 9 and possibly June 10. Hearing. Attorneys for citizens in Ansted, West Virginia and the Sierra Club have appealed a permit renewal granted by the WV Department of Environmental Protection to Powellton Coal Company for mining on Gauley Mountain in beautiful Fayette County. The WV Surface Mine Board will hear this appeal on June 9, and if needed, June 10. We need you to attend this hearing. It starts at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, June 9 at DEP headquarters, 601 - 57th Street, Charleston (Kanawha City).
In (East) Virginia:
Tickets: $10 (donations above ticket price are tax-exempt with form); For tickets and updates, visit Homebody or email Beth Wellington at email@example.com or Kim Kirkbride at firstname.lastname@example.org. Can't attend? Be a sponsor! Individuals $10, local businesses $20.
More events and actions are posted on our online calendar page.
And, one more action we sure hope you will take: Click here to join OVEC or renew your membership.