Thankfully the struggle of Mountain Top Removal has entered the radar screen of activists concerned with climate change. The residents impacted by this very destructive form of coal extraction suffer the loss of over 3 millions acres of their Appalacian Mountain community.
Last December, over 500 million gallons of toxic coal sludge erupted over 400 acres destroying homes and spreading pollution larger than the Exxon Valdez oil spill.
"Tennessee coal sludge disaster 'shows that the term clean coal is an oxymoron.'
Monday, more than 500 million gallons of toxic coal sludge burst through a retention wall in eastern Tennessee, causing massive property and environmental damage and leaving residents holding their breath over possible long-term consequences. Environmentalists said the spill was more than 30 times larger than the Exxon Valdez oil spill. The incident underscored the false nature of the "clean coal" propaganda. In an interview with NBC Nightly News, Elliott Negin of the Union of Concerned Scientists explained:
This disaster shows that the term 'clean coal' is an oxymoron. It's akin to saying 'safe cigarette.' Clean coal doesn't exist."
Within this context, i once again, implore all those outraged by this atrocity to please integrate the ongoing struggle of traditional Dine and Hopi peoples to bring similar attention to the destruction of sacred lands that has continued since resources were discovered on reservations in the 1920's leading directly to the Indian Reorganzation Act and the formation of malleable tribal councils.
Peabody Coal has raped the land of Black Mesa for over 40 years as well as draining an aquifer drying up ancient Hopi and Dine springs and wells. The 273 mile long slurry line used over a billion gallons of pristine water yearly to transport coal to the Mohave Generating Station, once the largest coal fired power plant on earth til it was shut down December 2005. Tho the shutdown was attributed to Mohave's lack of stack scrubbers, lack of water for the slurry is a under addressed major reality. Mohave may do whatever it can to continue with plant operations as it searches for another aquifer to exploit. Reconfiguring the slurry line towards Page, Arizona is being considered which would include the draining of another aquifer.
http://www.shundaha i.org/bigmtbackg round.html
http://www.goldenst ateimages. com/GSI_search. php?srch= page%20arizona% 20coal%20fired% 20power%20plant& op=ex
What is most striking about this whole catastrophe is the genocidal impact the forced relocation of over 14,000 traditional Dine people and 100 plus Hopi has had in this remote lovely region. Over half of those relocated have died, many prematurely from stress induced illnesses, others from suicide or murder in racist border towns. People have become refugees in a country steeped in denial of human tragedy that illustrates the complicity of privileged racism. The genocide of Indigenous Americans lives on...
In my many years of researching, writing and witnessing the human rights violations suffered by Dine, Hopi, Mayan Indian people, homeless, migrants and the growing horror of femicide, i see that many advantaged people cannot face the scope of atrocity such marginalized people endure. Given the ongoing genocides in Iraq and Afghanistan spreading to Pakistan that are NOT bringing millions onto US streets in opposition, it is no wonder that the elimination of traditional first peoples remains unabated.
All these issues are inter related. The drive for profit allows and thrives on the destruction of the human beings living where resource extraction is highly coveted. Never have white Americans taken a profoundly massive stance against the genocide enacted over 500 years ago in all of the Americas. This fascistic, greedy colonialism threatens all of life on all 5 continents. No children have a chance in this current atmosphere of crippling apathy.
We must stand because it is the right thing to do, not because we finally have the funding to act with conscience. We must stand as if all life depended upon our choice to loudly, clearly and strongly say "NO!" to the course of greed propelled genocide all of us will contend with sooner or later as this nightmare spreads.
May we hear our hearts and enact our sacred duty.
Please consider joining our efforts to fill Rick Fellows frontline schoolbus with volunteers willing to give several days of labor to resisting Flack Mesa/Big Mountain families during the week November 21 - 28 leaving from Olympia.
For more info: