Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition


OVEC Action Alert - May 12, 2002

Latest on DC Bus Trip

How to Help Flood Victims

Politics, WV-style and the Environmental Impact Statement on MTR

Lecture: Globalize This!

Take Action on Fast Track

Bus to DC Nearly Full!  At noon on Friday, the bus for the May 14-15 DC trip was declared full! However, a couple of people have since canceled, having to stay home and deal with the aftermath of the deadly floods. PLEASE IF YOU HAVE TO CANCEL, LET US KNOW ASAP, as we have many people on stand-by. If you are on stand-by, call the office ASAP at 304-522-0246. The purpose of our visit is to have coalfield residents speak to legislators about life near valley fills at mountaintop removal operations. The recent disastrous floods are just the latest in a long string of mountaintop-removal related disasters.

Well post the latest trip details on the website, so check often. Note that the meeting place to catch the bus in Weston is at the McDonalds restaurant. If you are going on the trip, please check the website posting for the list of things you need to bring. Sleeping bag, towel, etc. A notepad and pen would be good, too. Any questions, call us at 304-522-0246.

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Help flood victims, see pictures of devastation  See pictures of the latest deadly floods in coal country and get contact info on where to send donations at by clicking here

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WV Politics and the Environmental Impact Statement on MTR Remember Mike Castle? He was one of three former coal industry executives appointed to head the WV Department of Environmental Protection under Governor Underwood (himself a former coal industry exec). Castle is now special assistant to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agencies administrator for our region.

If you been following Ken Wards articles in the Charleston Gazette, you know that the Bush and Co. are playing politics with the long-delayed Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on mountaintop removal. Theyd rather scrap the science (which is coming to the conclusion we all already know--mountaintop removal is an environmental and social disaster) and instead make the EIS into a vehicle for a streamlined permitting process for mountaintop removal operators. Word has it Mike Castles got his fingerprints all over this latest dirty dealing from King Coal and his regulators/minions.

Learn all about the EIS and coal-dirty politics in the Charleston Gazette. Be sure to check out the EPA slide show.

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Globalize This!  At first glance, it may appear that the Free Trade / Fast Track / Globalization / World Trade Organization issues have nothing to with mountaintop removal. Wish that were the case! Fact is, once we succeed in getting our government to protect us by stopping coal companies from massacring our mountains, an un-elected, unaccountable panel of judges from the World Trade Organization could overturn laws written to stop MTR. This group can overturn ANY of our nations sovereign laws. You have got to learn more!

Come to: Fair Trade First: Democratizing the Global Economy in an Age of Corporate Rule A lecture with Dr. Kevin Danaher May 24, 7:30 pm Unitarian Universalist Church 520 Kanawha Boulevard, West, Charleston, WV

Dr. Kevin Danaher, a co-founder of the international human rights organization, Global Exchange, will speak in Charleston. A longtime critic of the so-called free trade agenda, Danaher will explain how the World Trade Organization (WTO), the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank have consistently advanced the interests of multinational corporations at the expense of local communities, working families, human rights, and the environment.

For more information, contact Hedda Haning 304- 344-0472, or download the flyer

Mary Wildfire and I heard Kevin speak at the WTO protests in November 1999. Hes extremely dynamic and informative, and now hes in your back yard. Don t miss this.

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Fast Track is Back -- Take Action   by Mary Wildfire

Fast Track is back; right now its in the Senate, where it will certainly pass despite the opposition of our representatives, but battles are raging over the inclusion of various amendments. Most of these would mitigate the harm of Fast Track and the anti-democratic treaties it facilitatesnot enough to make it okay, but enough to make it significantly different from the version that already passed the House. And enough to enrage the pro-free trade neoliberal fundamentalists who believe nothing should ever be allowed to interfere with profits. Therefore, there will be a bloody and long-lasting fight in the conference committee to resolve the differences, and therefore it will be closer to the election when the compromise version gets back to the House. This will be bad for any House Members with insecure seats (like Shelly Moore Capito) who might want to vote for the unpopular measureand good for us.

I plan to arrange at least one public viewing of the Bill Moyers video, Trading Democracy, during the Congressional recess, which will run from May 25 to June 4. If you can watch this video through to the end and not become outraged, then the doctors can have your organsyoure clearly dead. Ill invite Capito and her aides likely they wont come, but we can present her with her very own copy the next time the West Virginia Fair Trade Coalition meets with her, hopefully also during the Recess. Please contact me if you can be a part of this delegation; we should have representatives for environmental, labor, social justice and democracy issues. If you can participate, or if you want to know how you can get a copy of this video, or if you are one of those who already borrowed a copy and are ready to pass it onplease contact me at mwildfire@hotmail.com.

If Fast Track is defeated, in the country that most aggressively pushes corporate globalization, at a time when supposedly we Americans are all blindly following Bush, it will send such a strong signal worldwide that the direction of the global struggle will changenew possibilities will open up. Thats why this is so important.

Here in West Virginia, Congresswoman Capito is our sole target because our other four reps, Democrats all, are reliable votes against Fast Track. Capito, remarkably, also voted against it last timebut when the compromise version comes back to the House she may be tempted to use the steel settlement or some such as an excuse to vote Yes this time.

The Chamber of Congress and the rest of the Free Trade lobby are hard at it right now, wining and dining and threatening and promising. So if youre in her district, you need to call her during the recessprobably the AFL-CIO toll-free number, 1-877-611-0063, will be switched to connect with her local office thento remind her that those guys may have bundles of bucks, but they dont represent a whole lot of votes.

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