Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition
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Winds of Change
November 2002

Contents

Life Near a Massey Mine is No Picnic

Not Throwing Caution to the Winds

Legacy of MTR - ANOTHER Round of Flooding

And The Winner Is ... NOTA?

Winds of Change - OVEC Switches to Wind Power, So Can You

The Smell of $$$$$ = Business as Usual in WV

The People Win Round 1 in Coal Truck Weight Battle

WV May Tell Coalfields: If You Don't Like It, Move!

OVEC in Action!

Homer III Wants to Blacken Peytona

Invoking Some 'Higher Authority' in the Fight Against MTR

What Can We Say But THANKS for Everything!

Norton Trys to Use Enviros as Poster Children at Sham Celebration

Regulator's Motto: If You Don't Do It Right, It Doesn't Take As Long

GlassWorks of Weston to Produce OVECs 2002 Christmas Ornaments

Norcross Wildlife Foundation Awards OVEC Grant for New Computers

Action Alert Miscellany

Other Miscellany


For viewing the PDF version

 

The People Win Round 1 in
Coal Truck Weight Battle

by Vivian Stockman

In July, the people of West Virginia emphatically told Gov. Bob Wise and state legislators: "No! Do not increase the coal truck weight limit and do enforce the current laws."

Wise called a special summer legislative session in an attempt to pass his "compromise" bill that would have nearly doubled the current weight limits for coal trucks. The only compromise in this bill was between the coal industry and its favorite politicians the industry wanted even higher weight limits. Wise and House "leaders" thought they could ignore the peoples will.

How wrong they were.

Former WV Secretary of State Ken Hechler ran television ads for the "We the People" coalition urging folks to call their legislators to tell them: No weight increase! OVEC, Coal River Mountain Watch and WV Citizen Action Group worked hard to get people out to rallies and into the halls of the Capitol. Delegate Mike Caputo continued his bold leadership on the issue. People responded in droves.

Wise and House Speaker Bob Kiss and other coal-puppet legislators were stunned at the dramatic 48-47 House vote that nixed the weight increase. They had arrogantly thought their fix for their coal industry buddies would prevail. They pressured legislators to ignore the calls from their constituents. But many legislators said they hadnt seen the public so united and so vocal on an issue in a long time. Those legislators decided to heed the voice of the people, which they likened to a sleeping giant, awakened.

Charleston Gazette editor Dan Radmacher said in a Sept. 27 column, "When Delegate Mike Caputo, D-Marion, won a floor vote during the summer special session to amend the bill and strip out the weight increases, legislative leaders and Wise agreed to a compromise: They compromised their duty to resolve this issue and adjourned the session as quickly as humanly possible."

The Gazette reported Wise as saying, "Its the first inning. Its not by any means the entire game." How sad and ugly that Wise thinks resolving the deadly overweight coal truck issue is a game.

 

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