Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition
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West Virginia Energy and America's Future
July 16, 2001

Photos by Vivian Stockman

 Second district Republican Congresswoman Shelley More Capito held the West Virginia Energy and Americas Future forum on July 16, 2001. The event, held at Riverside High School near Belle, was one of several nationwide that Bush the Lessers Dick Cheney helped organize to whip the masses into frenzied support for the Administrations "Drill, Mine and Nuke the Guts Right out of the Planet" national energy policy.

Rep. Capito faces the TV cameras while OVEC members get their message across.

Capito's panel consisted of pretty much anybody whose future wallet fatness is directly tied to promoting the status quo and blocking progress toward environmentally safer forms of energy, such as wind, solar and hydrogen fuel cells. This was going to be a warm and fuzzy taxpayer-funded Coal cheerleading session, with a little Oil and Gas thrown in for good measure. Capito's star speaker was Texas Republican Congressman Joe Barton, chair of the House subcommittee on energy and air quality.

Not surprisingly, no one whose future is in peril from mountaintop removal had a place on the panel, despite requests to Capitos office by an OVEC member and the Untied Mine Workers of America that a coalfield resident be included on the panel.

Helping to provide a need for lots more drilling, Capito, Barton and staff pulled up to the forums venue in a SUV. They had to make their way thru a mock graveyard filled with mock open coffins representing things we Appalachians have lost to mountaintop removalcommunities, jobs, streams, forests, topsoil, plants, animals and mountains.

We handed Capito a citizens press package, complete with photos of the devastation associated with mountaintop removal captioned, We wont be Americas energy sacrifice zone. We won't be silenced either.

Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) got to meet coalfield residents, though Capito hoped they wouldn't show.


  OVEC member Jack Walldeck, left, tells WV Coal Association (WVCA) president Bill Raney what he thinks about the association, while WVCA vice president Chris Hamilton chides the photographer.


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