OVEC Action Alert

May 9 and Beyond: Actions You Can Take No Matter Where You Are

OVEC Action Alert
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May 8, 2017

May You Participate in May
May 9: Our allies at Coal River Mountain Watch are calling on you to come out for a hearing where they will argue why the WV Surface Mine Board should hear their appeal of the 853-acre Long Ridge #1 mountaintop removal permit on Coal River Mountain. Please show up if you can and help pack the hearing room! This will be attorneys arguing, not an opportunity for public comment, but your presence will really help drive home the point that the people do not want this MTR operation to go forward.

The hearing begins at 9:00 a.m. Tuesday, May 9, at the WV DEP headquarters at 601 57th Street SE, Charleston, WV, 25304. Please show up by 8:30 to make sure you get a seat, and in case CRMW holds a press conference outside.

OVEC has room for 2-3 people in a vehicle heading to the hearing that morning. Call 304-522-0246 right away if you’d like one of the spaces.

Join the event, spread the word and get more details on Facebook.May 9: Beginning at 8 a.m., C SPAN’s Washington Journal will take a look at the coal industry, and they invited OVEC to come speak about our work, live. First up, coal CEO Bob Murray. At 8:30, its Ohio Congressman Bill Johnson. At 9, if you’re not able to attend the hearing above, then maybe you could tune in to support your OVEC action alert assembler. After OVEC’s slot, it’s Nick Mullins, who blogs as the Thoughtful Coal Miner. Viewers will be able to call in with questions.

May 9: Our allies at Headwaters Defense invite you to Stop the Suffering Part 1, starting at 5:30 p.m. at the Fayette County Courthouse. Join the event, spread the word and get more details on Facebook.

May 9: Akron, Ohio Premiere of Blood on the Mountain at 7 p.m. at the Akron Civic Theater. Free, but get your tickets in advance. Details here. Blood on the Mountain is on Netflix now, if you aren’t in the Akron area.

May 13: Headwaters Defense invites you to Stop the Suffering Part 2, starting at 11 a.m. in Lochgelly, Fayette County, WV. Join the event, spread the word and get more details on Facebook.

May 20: In lieu of our monthly membership meeting, we invite you to take part in the 3rd Annual Huntington Sustainability Fair, starting at 10 a.m. OVEC will be screening three inspiring documentaries.May 20: Community Organizing 101 in Oak Hill, WV.  Make your campaign or community project more effective with this workshop, a full day of skill building. Learn to bring people together to make changes in your community—from passing a piece of legislation, to convincing your school board, to creating a community garden supported by city council—it’s all about organizing, folks. There’s no charge and lunch is included! Register for this event, sponsored by Our Future WV, here.

May 23: Updated info on NAS May 23 meeting here
In our March action alert we asked you to save the dates of May 22-24: National Academy of Sciences Wants to Hear from You on MTR and Human Health. Now it looks like the meeting date will be May 23, and the location will be in Logan, WV. We don’t have final details yet, so please check our website, our Facebook page and our Twitter feed for updates. In the meantime, please gather up your stories of how mountaintop removal impacts your health and wellbeing, so you can be ready to share these with NAS. 

Check our online calendar for more events. And thanks for coming out for all the events in April!

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Making News to Help Inform the Public
You can stay up to date on some of the news stories and opinion columns that OVEC had a role in (stories that mention our members and staff, use our photos, or for which we provided assistance, such as contacts, research help, ground or air tours) by checking our online newslinks page and clicking on the tab with the acorn icon. 

Here are some recent print examples:

Bill Hughes: Be careful, Cabell and Wayne counties, about shale development

Local, national marches protest environmental policies

Terry Steele: Washington’s support for coal should start with miners

Chuck Nelson: Government must keep promise to miners 

Mining union faces ‘life-and-death’ test

Dustin White: Coal’s other broken promise — bonding 

Mary Wildfire: Natural gas at all costs is WV’s moral imperative? 

Dianne Bady, Vivian Stockman: Proliferation of pipelines, fracking will hurt region 

Over four days in March, OVEC assisted a PBS NewsHour crew when they were here filming for a segment on mountaintop removal coal mining that aired on May 3. You’ll see some OVEC members and OVEC photos (thanks to SouthWings for the flyovers!) in the segment, along with some footage provided by the Kanawha Forest Coalition. “Off the Top” starts at 34 minutes and 20 seconds into the video. 

You’ll notice that the coal lobbyist in the segment does not recognize any of more than two dozen studies on mountaintop removal coal mining and its severe toll on human health.

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Submit Your Comment: Stop Trump’s Rollback of EPA Protections
In Executive Orders 13777 and 13783, which together comprise the most sweeping attack on climate action and climate safeguards in U.S. history, Trump directed EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to identify rules, regulations, and guidance that the Agency could roll back or weaken. 

So, a comment period is on, and things appear to be backfiring for the administration. Comments are pouring in, but the are mostly from folks telling the EPA what rules and regs to not gut. 

The Sierra Club has set up an easy way for you to comment, at this link. the EPA. Be sure to take the time to tell your own story in your comments, because, as you know, your own letter is much better than a form letter.

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Call Your Senators on the BLM’s Natural Gas Waste Rule
Please call your Senators and tell them to oppose using the Congressional Review Act to eliminate the BLM’s Natural Gas Waste Rule. Take action here.

OVEC project coordinator Reverend Robin Blakeman, who helped establish WV Interfaith Power & Light, submitted this letter to the editor to a local paper to help us understand why we should contact our Senators:

West Virginians are rightly concerned about the need for more jobs, and are looking to our leaders for wise investment in new industries. And right now there is an opportunity for Senators Manchin and Capito to exercise this leadership by choosing to vote against a repeal of the Methane Waste Rule.

Last year the Bureau of Land Management issued a rule that would boost profits for the industry and increase tax revenues by requiring companies to prevent methane leaks from fracking operations on public lands. Currently, $330 million worth of methane is wasted by oil and gas companies each year. According to a study by the Blue-Green Alliance, 5,400 direct and indirect jobs could be created each year as the industry becomes more efficient and invests in new technologies to prevent leaks. Without the rule, taxpayers stand to lose out on an additional $800 million in tax revenue that would otherwise go to funding public infrastructure projects that create jobs.

Implementing this rule will also protect public health and the environment. Along with methane, toxic chemicals also leak into the air causing higher rates of cancer, lung problems, and birth defects in surrounding communities. Methane is also a powerful greenhouse gas, and will trap 80 times more heat in the atmosphere than the same amount of carbon dioxide over the next two decades.

As a Christian, I believe that we should be good stewards of our finite natural resources. Scripture teaches us to love our neighbor and to care for God’s creation. I strongly support the Methane Waste Rule because it will promote jobs, protect my neighbor’s health, as well as cut greenhouse gas emissions. I urge Senators Manchin and Capito to do the same.

This video from the Native American Voters Alliance underscores why people should be contacting their Senators.  According to Why Greenhouse Gas Emissions Did Not Really Stabilize In The Past Few Years: 

The biggest drivers of anthropogenic methane are agriculture (especially cattle and water-logged fields of rice) and leaks from natural gas (which is mostly methane) production and distribution. After leveling off at the start of the first decade of the twenty-first century, atmospheric methane levels started to climb again in 2007[v]. A lot of evidence points to a significant part of the increase as coming from the massive growth in shale gas wells in the United States[vi]. The 30% increase in U.S. methane emissions may well offset its celebrated reduction in CO2 emissions in recent years.

Also see: Fracking’s Dark Secret

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In This Alert

May 9, 13, 20, 23: We Need You Out and About! Or Watching…

OVEC News and Opinion

Submit Your Comment: Stop Trump’s Rollback of EPA Protections

Call Your Senators on the BLM’s Natural Gas Waste RuleDon’t scream! We still have Treehuggers’ Ball 2017 T-shirts.
Pick up price: $10.
Call us at 304-522-0246
or e-mail info@ohvec.org.Good Reading: You Marched
for Science and Climate Action. Now what?
 Take Action: Block Kentucky’s Mountaintop Removal PrisonSign the Petition: 
Protect Net Neutrality!

The battle to #SaveTheInternet continues! Visit protectourinternet.org to get involved! #NetNeutrality @ProtectOurNet



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