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If you haven’t already, please take a few minutes to read this Sunday, June 10 Lexington Herald-Leader editorial, “EPA should hang tough in coalfields.” The paper also published the Joel Pett cartoon, at right, that day.
The editorial tells the story of what happened to OVEC organizer Maria Gunnoe on Capitol Hill on June 1. And it asks that she receive a public apology, as does the staff at the Goldman Prize, the “Green Nobel,” which Maria won in 2009.
In his home district and beyond, Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) and his staff on the House Natural Resources Committee have been receiving some bad press about the horrid incident.
The Congressional Record for the June 1 hearing is open for two more days. This is a public record, and according to House rules, the public is free to submit letters, documents, and information for the Congressional record of any hearing.
So here’s your chance to turn your outrage over what happened to Maria — a woman who is trying to save our homeplaces, and protect kids and families here – into action.
Write a letter now to the committee and to Mr. Lamborn for the Congressional Record. Insist on a public apology to the family of the young child in the photo, the photographer and to Maria Gunnoe, whom the committee outrageously detained for police investigation because she wanted the committee to see the photo of a little girl force to bathe in toxic coal pollution. Make sure to include that you wish for your letter to be entered into the Congressional record of the hearing, otherwise your comments won’t be included in the record.
This statement should do the trick: I wish to submit the following letter for the public Congressional record of the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources Oversight Hearing on Friday, June 1, 2012, at 10:00 AM, entitled “The Obama Administration’s Actions Against the Spruce Coal Mine: Canceled Permits, Lawsuits and Lost Jobs.”
Send your letter to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Let’s hold Mr. Lamborn and his staff accountable for their sorry actions. Let’s tell his committee that we won’t allow them to continue to deny and distort the truth while taking Big Coal’s dirty money, which it makes from destroying communities, blowing up mountains, and harming families and children, like the one in the photo that Mr. Lamborn refuses to look at. Remember you have until 5 p.m. (Eastern-time) this Friday, June 15 to submit your comments.
Please take the time now to write your message to the committee to tell the members how you feel about how they behaved toward award-winning mountain hero Maria Gunnoe.
Update: Maria says Representative Doc Hastings also needs to be issuing apologies. Please include him in your communication. You can also contact him directly here.
Below are some ideas for messages you could send, but your own words are always the best!
To Mr. Lamborn, Mr. Hastings and House Natural Resources Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee staff:
I wish to submit the following letter for the public Congressional record of the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources Oversight Hearing on Friday, June 1, 2012, at 10:00 AM, entitled “The Obama Administration’s Actions Against the Spruce Coal Mine: Canceled Permits, Lawsuits and Lost Jobs.”
— What is dirty about the photo you refused to allow in the record is the water – and the practice of mountaintop removal that is making people sick and destroying their water. You can deny that reality all you want but that won’t make it go away.
— Mr Lamborn, Mr. Hastings – I hope you saw the editorial of June 10 in the Lexington paper about your committee’s offensive behavior. I would like to submit it for the hearing record. (if you choose something along these lines, be sure to include the text of the editorial, available at the link up top).
— Send a bathtub photo of your own kids if you have one. If your baby is not bathing in filth, the message could be something like, “This is my son in the tub. Fortunately for us, he has clean water in which to bath because we do not live downstream from mountaintop removal. Please enter this photo and my message for the record of the June 1 subcommittee hearing on the Spruce mine. If you think this photo of my baby is also pornography you can tell the Capitol Police how to find me.”
— Mr Lamborn, Mr. Hastings – I hope you saw the editorial cartoon of June 10 in the Lexington paper. As they say, a picture can say a thousand words. Since you denied the right of citizen activist Maria Gunnoe to place the photo of the girl bathing in mining-polluted water in your committee’s hearing record, I ask that you include this editorial cartoon in the hearing record.
Keep in mind that Congressman Hastings shuld also be ask to apologize. He too agreed that this picture should be reported.
Remind our President that he should END the fighting in Appalachia by ending mountaintop removal coal mining now! Send him a letter and let them know that mountantop removal in Appalachia is an election year issue!
SouthWings has written a letter in response to this disgraceful treatment of Maria. Please feel free to incorporate any of our thoughts into your own letter today! http://southwings.org/page.php?252
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