Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition

Pre-Hearing Info

View Entire Congressional Hearing

Testimony Of Joan Mulhern, Senior Legislative Counsel Earthjustice Legal Defense Fund
Verbal Testimony
Complete Written Statement

Testimony of Michael O. Callaghan, Cabinet secretary of the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection

Testimony of
Mr. Kevin Richardson
President and Founder of the
Just Within Reach Foundation

Statement of Lexi Shultz,
on behalf of the Mineral Policy Center

Press Conference Statement of Retired Miner Lucious Thompson

I am Appalachia.
Mick McCoy's Poem

US Newswire: Robert Kennedy, Jr. Joins Clean Water Protest 

Chicago Tribune: Senators consider mountaintop mining  

Lexington Herald Leader: Clean Water Act changes attacked 

Planet Ark: Democrat seeks to limit US mountaintop coal mining

Charleston Daily Mail: Congress eyes mining rules Lawmakers consider effects of mountaintop removal on streams

Huntington Herald Dispatch: Lieberman criticizes stream fills; Lawmaker claims Corps illegally lets mining companies dump coal debris

New York Times (Associated Press): Bush Admin. Mining Rule Criticized

Cincinnati Enquirer: The Voinovich boycott

Austin American-Statesman: I'm no expert, but I play one on TV: Congress' love affair with celebrities

Sydney Morning Herald: Senator tips bucket on stars with politics in their eyes

BayArea.com: No harmony at Senate hearing with Backstreet Boy

NewsMax: Senator Protests Celeb 'Experts'

LA Timesw: Backstreet Boy Goes Before Senate Panel

The Age: Showbiz Bytes  

Louisville Courier-Journal: Mountaintop-mining foes appeal to senators; Backstreet Boy's appearance causes some controversy 

Lexington Herald Leader: Kentucky group assails changes to Clean Water Act

New York Times (Associated Press): Pop Singer Testifies on Capitol Hill

NPR Morning Edition: Celebrities on Capitol Hill  

Charleston Gazette: Democrats blast Bush mine policy; New mountaintop removal rule violates the Clean Water Act

Tri-City Herald: Backstreet singer testifies to Congress about mountaintop mining

CBS News: Voinovich Doesn't "Want It That Way"

Cincinnati Enquirer: Voinovich to boycott hearing because of witness

Nando Times: Backstreet singer testifies to Congress about mountaintop mining

USA Today: Hollywood's politics-publicity balancing act

Cincinnati Enquirer: Voinovich tunes out pop star; Backstreet Boys singer testifies

CNN: Backstreet Boy testifies on Capitol Hill

CNN: Capitol Hill's galaxy of star witnesses

MTV: Backstreet Boy Kevin Richardson Talks Coal Mining With Senators

VH1: Backstreet Boy Kevin Richardson Talks Coal Mining With Senators; Pop singer voices concerns about Bush administration's current energy plan

Charleston Daily Mail: Singer pans environmental plan; GOP complains about testimony from performer

Jan. 13, 2003 note to Backstreet Boy Fans: Contrary to a rumor circulating on the Internet, Kevin Richardson's appearance before the United States Congress in Washington DC (not Ohio), did NOT stop mountaintop removal (MTR). But Kevin hasn't given up the fight! Please help Kevin and groups like OVEC stop this terrible form of coal mining.  Kevin is from Kentucky. Kentuckians For The Commonwealth is the group that asked him to come to DC.

For more information on MTR, follow our sidebar links and read the MTR Factsheet or our Checklist of What You Can Do To Help Stop Mountaintop Removal (MTR)

OVEC's June Newsletter also includes pictures of Kevin, plus OVEC has just added a special bonus gallery for Kevin's fans (He really does look hot in that suit!)

Robert Kennedy, Jr. and Backstreet Boys' Kevin Richardson Join Us at Congressional Hearing and Press Conference Calling for an End to Illegal Mountaintop Removal

June 6, 2002
Photos by Vivian Stockman

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For years local and regional groups like OVEC, Coal River Mountain Watch, the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy, the West Virginia Rivers Coalition and Kentuckians For The Commonwealth have been working to raise awareness about mountaintop removal / valley fill coal mining, for we must have huge numbers of citizens demanding an end the madness of mountain range removal. National groups such as Earthjustice, Citizens Coal Council, Friends of the Earth, Clean Water Network and Natural Resources Defense Council have joined in the fight to end both the coal companies' massacre of the Appalachians mountains and government agencies' complicity in this eco-cide.

Our May visit to DC really solidified this local-national coalition of organizations. Our latest, June 6 DC visit has super-charged the movement to stop the illegal devastation of the Appalachian coalfields. Together, we will end mountaintop removal!

Once again, OVEC's Dave Cooper organized coalfield residents and citizen activists to make the trek to DC. We had two purposes: attending a Congressional Hearing, called by Senator Joseph Lieberman (D-CT), on the national implications of the Bush administration's changes to a Clean Water Act rule (which would legalize illegal valley fills and which was probably an illegal way to change such an important law) and hosting a press conference on the impacts of the administration's attack on the Clean Water Act on coalfield residents.

The press conference was organized via a phone conference and a series of e-mails between OVEC, CRMW, WVRC, EarthJustice, the Appalachian Center for the Economy and the Environment, Robert Kennedy Jr.'s Water Keepers Alliance and a publicist for Kevin Richardson of the Backstreet Boys.

You can read some of the massive, national press coverage these two events generated by visiting OVEC's June 6 and 7 news archives. A few news stories are also linked in the sidebar of this page. Below are many photos of this exciting day.

(left to right) Early on the morning of June 6, Jerry Hardt of Kentuckians For The Commonwealth, retired miner Lucious Thompson, KFTC's Teri Blanton and OVEC's Karen Simpkins sort through maps and photos that will be displayed during the press conference. During the press conference, Lucious, who lives below a mountaintop removal site said, "They're killing our game and destroying our lands and our homes." 

Just a few of the West Virginia and Kentucky folks outside our Virginia hotel before we take the Metro toward Capitol Hill. Many others were clustered inside, around the coffee pot.

Freelance photographer Deana Smith, who has documented our Stop Mountaintop Removal campaign for years, and West Virginia River Coalition's Nathan Fetty await the start of the hearing. Across from Nathan, in the dark suit, is WV Department of Environmental Protection's Division of Mining and Reclamation Director Matt Crum.  Matt didn't seem to want to speak with Nathan. 

It was standing room only in the hearing room.

OVEC's Dave Cooper amongst the crowd at the hearing.

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