Campaign Intensifies to Stop Mountain Top Removal Coal Mining
Interview with Judy Bonds, co-director of Coal River Mountain Watch, conducted by Melinda Tuhus
In late June, the yearslong struggle of people in Appalachia to stop mountaintop removal coal mining grabbed some headlines when prominent climate scientist James Hanson and actress Daryl Hannah were arrested along with others protesting the practice. The burning of coal contributes the greatest proportion of greenhouse gases of any energy source in the U.S.
But, literally blowing the tops off mountains to mine the coal seams and dumping tons of debris in local streams has created a nightmare for residents of West Virginia and other states where the practice continues. And the U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled in a case from Alaska that dumping toxic debris in streams does not violate the Clean Water Act.
Between The Lines' Melinda Tuhus spoke with Judy Bonds, co-director of Coal River Mountain Watch in West Virginia. She is the daughter and granddaughter of miners, and has been in the forefront of trying to stop mountaintop removal mining. For her efforts, she was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize in 2003. In a recent protest against the Massey coal company, she was attacked by a Massey supporter and suffered a serious neck injury. She describes what it's like to live with constant blasting and the water and air contamination that accompany surface mining, and what people living in Appalachia are doing about it.
Contact the group at (304) 854-2182 or visit their website at www.crmw.net
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