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Winds of Change
September 2005

Contents

Hey Joe -
Can You Hear Us
NOW?
The Coalfields, Where Water is Considered a Luxury
The Real Friends of Coal
Over the Top! OVEC and WV-CAG Reach $$$ Goal
A Bushel of T H A N K S !
Christians for the Mountains Organizes in WV
2004 Supreme Court Race Most Negative
States Suing EPA Over Proposed Mercury Pollution Standards
A Song for the Pain of Our West Virginia Mountains
First Issue of Mountain Defender Newspaper a Success!
Global Warming May Take Economic Toll
Coal River Residents Win Major Victory; Proposed Coal Silo Was Too Close to Elementary School
Success Brings Threats to Project Organizers
Energy Bill: Billion$ of Reasons to Support Real Campaign Finance Reform
Midwest Renewable Energy Fair - A Vision of the Future, Today
WV Archives and History Commission Agrees: Blair Mountain Must Be Saved from Coal Mining, Belongs on National Register
Summit for the Mountains V Generates New Ideas
Marathon Ashland Needlessly Putting Community at Risk
Pink Slip Time for Besieged DEP Chief?
Justification for Mountaintop Removal Mining Based on Lies
Coal Barge Woes Rear Their Ugly Head in Huntington - Again
Miscellany
Cartoons


For viewing the PDF version of the newsletter

 

Winds of Change Newsletter, September 2005     See sidebar for table of contents

 
This photo says it all - mountaintop removal hurts our children, their children, their childrens children  Below, just a few of the huge crowd at the July 30 rally in Charleston.
This photo says it all - mountaintop removal hurts our children, their children, their childrens children Below, just a few of the huge crowd at the July 30 rally in Charleston. photos by Jesse Mwaura and Vicky Mattson

Hey Joe - Can You Hear Us NOW?

King Coal was not happy. His line that there are only 12 whackos who oppose mountaintop removal was exposed as one of his many lies when, on July 30, more than 400 people crowded the West Virginia Statehouse steps to tell Governor Manchin: No More Mountaintop Removal!

Worse, none of the rally-goers would take King Coals Dirty Money. If only the people were more like politicians, then they would take that Coal Cash and they would stop Speaking Out. But, no.

Despite the heat wave, people showed up from all over West Virginia and beyond to Speak Out at this rally organized by the Friends of the Mountains (a coalition which includes OVEC, Coal River Mountain Watch, West Virginia Highlands Conservancy, Coalfield Sustainability Project, the WV Chapter of Sierra Club and others), with help from Mountain Justice Summer. (article continues below)

Hey Joe - Can You Hear Us NOW?

You guys are preaching the gospel of justice, Rev. Jim Lewis told the crowd in the rallys opening speech. This greed will not buy us off, he said as he tore up some King Coal Cash (see below). Greed will not deliver us into wholeness and healthiness and happiness, particularly for the children of our state. What theyre doing is wrong.

King Coal clings to his Dirty Money Coal Cash and his I Obey King Coal puppet in the likeness of DEP chief Stephanie Timmermeyer. These were the only things that comforted him at the July 30 rally, where hundreds of people told him how disgusted they are with his destruction and lies. Photo by Dave Saville
King Coal clings to his Dirty Money Coal Cash and his I Obey King Coal puppet in the likeness of DEP chief Stephanie Timmermeyer. These were the only things that comforted him at the July 30 rally, where hundreds of people told him how disgusted they are with his destruction and lies. Photo by Dave Saville
 

With poignant speeches from affected coalfield residents, excellent original music (See the lyrics to Tonya Adkins song on page 10), Save Our Mountains cheers from the Radical Cheerleaders and the Ms. Mountain Top Removal Beauty Pageant hosted by King Coal, the rally was a hit with the crowd.

Did the message hit Governor Joe Manchin? If it did, it had to come through layers of coal industry campaign contributions: OVECs Janet Keating* reported to the crowd the latest figures on how much campaign cash our politicians get from the coal industry. (See The Real Friends of Coal)

With ever-increasing numbers of folks Speaking Out, the message to end mountaintop removal is definitely getting louder.

Its getting harder and harder, despite the Coal Cash, for politicians to turn a deaf ear. Coal River Mountain Watch volunteer organizer Bo Webb expressed the thoughts of many assembled: Why is the DEP allowing our mountains to be destroyed for the short-term economic gain of a few? We hope we now have a governor in place that has a vision for the future of all West Virginia, one who has the courage to break the chains of the coal barons who continue to rape our mountains and destroy our communities.

Speaker Maria Gunnoe, of Bob White in Boone County, has dodged flood waters seven times since a 1,183-acre mountaintop removal operation began five years ago above her ancestral property.

Our once-peaceful community has become a war zone, Maria told the crowd. On Rt. 85 everywhere you look, its active, abandoned, reclaimed, permitted mine sitesWith each permit approved, there will be more and more people fighting the destruction caused by the practice of mountaintop removal mining.

All the people speechifying and singing and praying and Speaking Out and laughing in the face of adversity made King Coal very uncomfortable. Keep up the good work!  

* Janet Keating is the former Janet Fout.
 
Rev. Jim Lewis waves King Coal's cash before rendering it asunder, because greed enables some people to justify the destruction of our mountains, our heritage and our future.
Rev. Jim Lewis waves King Coal's cash before rendering it asunder, because greed enables some people to justify the destruction of our mountains, our heritage and our future.
Don Gaspar holding up his end - a banner at the July 30 rally at the state capitol. photos by Than Hitt
Don Gaspar holding up his end - a banner at the July 30 rally at the state capitol. photos by Than Hitt

 
Beauty Contest? Ummmmm ...  At the July 30 Ms. Mountaintop Removal Beauty Contest, King Coal really liked Ms. Mountaintop Removal contestant Donna Sinkingship, as well as Ms. Mountain Reaper. Ms. Coal Silo wasn't sure where she should be, but she wanted to be near children. Ms. Blind Greed is King Coal's all time favorite beauty queen. She lets him get away with all sorts of bad, bad things. She helps him justify whatever destruction he creates. Ms. Renewable Energy looked very ugly to King Coal. She takes away his subsidies, after all. Strange, but the crowd loved her and made her the pageant winner, even though Ms. Overweight Coal Truck, who was all modest when it came to telling us her weight, threw her weight around and tried to take Ms. REs crown away.
Beauty Contest? Ummmmm ...  At the July 30 Ms. Mountaintop Removal Beauty Contest, King Coal really liked Ms. Mountaintop Removal contestant Donna Sinkingship, as well as Ms. Mountain Reaper. Ms. Coal Silo wasn't sure where she should be, but she wanted to be near children. Ms. Blind Greed is King Coal's all time favorite beauty queen. She lets him get away with all sorts of bad, bad things. She helps him justify whatever destruction he creates. Ms. Renewable Energy looked very ugly to King Coal. She takes away his subsidies, after all. Strange, but the crowd loved her and made her the pageant winner, even though Ms. Overweight Coal Truck, who was all modest when it came to telling us her weight, threw her weight around and tried to take Ms. REs crown away. Photo by Greg Wood

King Coal Cash Front
King Coal Cash Back
King Coals Dirty Money did no talking at the July 30 rally.
 
Its hard to argue with the Truth, but King Coal still tries!
Its hard to argue with the Truth, but King Coal still tries!
 

 

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