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Coalfield Residents Pave Way for Grassroots Voice in U.N.

Pike Countian visits New York to talk about coal

Coalfield Residents to Report to United Nations on True Costs of Coal

Tycoon Ross Undermined

Coalfield Residents Take It to the United Nations in NYC

May, 2006
Photos by Bo Webb
Commission on Sustainable Development Hears About Mountain Massacre

She had never been on a train before in her life. She had rarely been beyond the borders of West Virginia and Kentucky. And now, in May, Donetta Blankenship was on her way to New York City, to speak before the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development as it reviewed its "Energy for Sustainable Development" plans.

Donetta was traveling with ten other coalfield residents, including Patricia Feeney, who, before she joined OVECs staff, coordinated this trip to the UN, working with several groups in three states.

The coalfield delegation six folks from West Virginia, four from Kentucky and one from Tennessee presented their stories to civil society caucuses at the UN and met with U.S. State Department representatives and officials in the Department of Energy. They put a human face on the real tolls of our nations apparent energy policy: "Cheap" energy, at any, usually hidden cost.

The UN trip received quite a bit of publicity, including a spot on West Virginia Public Broadcastings Inside Appalachia and in the New York Post. A documentary filmmaker followed the group from Mingo County to New York City.

Read more about this trip in OVEC's September 2006 Winds of Change newsletter. Photos by Bo Webb below.
 

Appalachian women headed to the United Nations.
Appalachian women headed to the United Nations.

Inside the United Nations.
Inside the United Nations.

Left to right, Donetta Blankenship, Maria Gunnoe and Joan Linville with the film crew.
Left to right, Donetta Blankenship, Maria Gunnoe and Joan Linville with the film crew.

Larry gets a boost from literature in Times Square. Sure hope all those lights are exceedingly energy efficient.
Larry gets a boost from literature in Times Square. Sure hope all those lights are exceedingly energy efficient.

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