Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition
Archive list of "E"- Notes newsletters

Click links below to read articles online, or try the PDF version to view or print an exact replica of the paper newsletter. 

October 2009

Major News: EPA May Do Its Job!
DEP Biologist: Agency Chief Huffmans Testimony to Congress Was Ill Informed

Thinking About Your Legacy: An Open Letter from Dr. Ken Hechler

Reflecting on EPAs Announcement
JOBS in the Coalfields, the Right Way
Families in Mingo Co. Sue Over Flooding
Asking the Highest Court in the Land to Hear Our Case
Dear Friends at OVEC
Lindytown - Threats, Dead Horses and Shattered Dreams As the Draglines Creep Ever Closer
Lindytown - From Nice Little Mountain Town to Virtual Ghost Town
EPA Moves to Block WVs Largest MTR Mining Permit
Corps Approves Controversial Permit Despite EPAs Objections
The Trail of Tears - History Is Repeating Itself in WV
Policy Efforts on Family Cemetery Protection Issues
Join the Cemetery Protection Group And Help Find Long-Term Solutions
Awareness is Where Its At
Please Pray for Webster County
Cook Family Cemeteries: Ancestors No Longer Rest In Peace Due to Mountaintop Removal Mining
Coal Slurry: New York Times Nails Clean Water Act Crimes (Many) and Punishment (None)
Victory! Public Water Lines Finally Coming to Prenter
Goodbye Patricia, Welcome Stephanie! - New Organizer Joins SSP Effort
WVU Studying Effects of Coal Slurry Injection on Health
Working to Reduce Coal Prep Plant Air Pollution
Six Southern WV Communities to Benefit from EPA Grant
Judge Thornsbury Disqualified from Presiding in Slurry Injection Case
Coal Country - the movie: Film Debuts To Packed Crowd After Concerns Almost Cancel Showing
Help End MTR and Help Coal Country Have a Party!
OVEC: Power With!
What Happens In Valleys Is As Important As What Happens On Mountain Peaks
Plundering Appalachia - The Book, Is Here!
Chemicals and Their Dangers Force People From Kanawha Valley
Clean Elections - Saving WV From Future Scandals
Why Manchin and Co. Dont Care About Health in the Coalfields
Eating For OVEC Keeps Raising $$$
Carbon Tax: Our ACES in the Hole for Real Change
Report: Global Warming Causes 300,000 Deaths A Year, Toll to Increase
Remembering Conley Branch - May It Always Be In My Heart
United Against MTR:
Red Bandanas, Dreadlocks, Clean-Cut, Old Folks and Young
TV News Fails to Cover Mountaintop Removal Well, Or At All
Nominations for OSM Chief
University Divesting of Massey Stock, Others May Follow
Toxic Legislation: Selenium at the Legislature; OVEC Appeal to EPA

For viewing the PDF version of the newsletter

Winds of Change Newsletter, October 2009     See sidebar for table of contents

OVEC: Power With!

by Janet Keating

Power. What and who does the word evoke? Brute strength? World leaders? Wealthy CEOs? The United States military? Or, something more low key?

In general, power is defined as the ability to act and to influence events. Power comes in many forms. For example, wealthy people often exercise power by using money to get what they want - including the good they want for others (e.g., Microsofts founder and billionaire Bill Gates providing funding for global health initiatives).

Or, on the darker side, coal company CEOs sometimes donate millions of dollars to political campaigns to gain influence over and access to West Virginia politicians. Thats what we know as "power over," or abuse of power.

Obviously, having buckets of money is one way to achieve the power to act and to influence events. But what if you dont have buckets of money and you have a lofty goal, like ending mountaintop removal coal mining in West Virginia?

Is money the answer? Well, it certainly is part of the answer. Memberships, donations, fundraising events and foundation funding all help OVEC accomplish many goals, small and large within the course of a year; however, money is not enough. Someone once said that in order to win a campaign, one either needs organized money or organized people.

In OVECs case, we believe it takes some of both. Our volunteers and members play a necessary, vital role in our successes.

For example, would the director of the WV Division of Environmental Protection, Randy Huffman, have acted on his own to declare a moratorium on new underground injection of toxic coal slurry this March? No way. He wouldnt have considered it, much less have taken action, had not organized citizens demanded action.

Citizens from Mingo, Raleigh, Nicholas and other counties made numerous trips to the State Capitol with OVEC staff. For several years, during legislative sessions and interims, they came carrying water samples and filters. They enlisted the aid of scientists and experts; they told their personal stories to the media and met with lawmakers.

They demanded action and accountability. Some testified at committee meetings. They exerted their personal power and, most importantly, their collective power.

This is a great example of having "power with" others. "Power with" is central to organizing and winning campaigns. OVEC helped amplify the voices of citizens most impacted by toxic coal slurry.

When we examine the deeply entrenched power of the coal industry in West Virginia and throughout central Appalachia, we know that bringing many more people together will be essential to stopping the destruction of our mountains, streams and communities.

The balance of power appears to be shifting in our favor, but OVEC needs to continue increasing its membership statewide. This is where, you, a current OVEC member, can step up and use your personal power to increase our collective power.

All of us have at least one friend who shares our values and hopes for clean air, water and land and, yes, intact mountains.

Will you accept the following challenge? Will you pledge to actively recruit at least one more OVEC member before the end of 2009? People can join or donate to OVEC online (www.ohvec.org).

If your friend doesnt have access to a computer, he/she can call the OVEC office at (304) 522-0246. Use your personal power today to help increase OVECs collective power to act and to make good things happen!


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