Civil Disobedience Actions Launched to Stop Mountain Top Removal
Interview with Matthew Louis-Rosenberg, anti-mountain top coal mining activist conducted by Melinda Tuhus
Mountaintop removal is the process of literally blasting the tops off mountains, primarily used in southern Appalachia to mine the thin seams of coal underneath. The blasted rock and clay is dumped into the narrow valleys below, often burying streams and brooks. Using government data, activists have estimated that 2,000 miles of waterways have been buried or destroyed. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that by 2010, a total of 1.4 million acres of Appalachia's mountains will have been destroyed by this coal-mining practice.
Between The Lines' Melinda Tuhus spent a week in southern West Virginia in mid-October. One of the activists she met there was Matthew Louis-Rosenberg, who grew up in the Catskill Mountains of New York and traveled to West Virginia to support the residents there opposing mountaintop removal. He currently serves as a staff member of Coal River Mountain Watch. Louis-Rosenberg was one of more than 100 people arrested so far this year for engaging in non-violent civil disobedience to stop the mining practice. A West Virginia jury convicted him of trespassing and conspiracy in mid-October and fined the activist over $2,700. Others have been sentenced to jail time.
In the third installment in her series of interviews on West Virginia coal mining, Melinda Tuhus spoke with Louis-Rosenberg in early November after his trial, where he talks about the alliance between local residents and out of state supporters. He also explains how the extraction and burning of coal has become such an important issue in the national debate on energy and climate change.
Contact Coal River Mountain Watch and Climate Ground Zero at (304) 854-1937 or visit their websites at www.crmw.net or www.climategroundzero.com
* Keeper of the Mountains Foundation at www.mountainkeeper.org
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"Between The Lines" is a half-hour syndicated radio news magazine that each week features a summary of under-reported news stories and interviews with activists and journalists who offer progressive perspectives on international, national and regional political, economic and social issues. Because "Between The Lines" is independent of all publications, media networks or political parties, we are able to bring a diversity of voices to the airwaves generally ignored or marginalized by the major media. For more information on this week's topics and to check out our text archive listing topics and guests presented in previous programs visit: http://www.btlonline.org
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