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).
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
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
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
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
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
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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