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Supporting Appalachian Communities

by Robert Gardner

March 5, 2013

Aerial photograph documenting mountain top removal mining atop Cherry Pond Mountain.

© Wade Payne / Greenpeace

Mountaintop Removal

A destroyed mountaintop after the Mountaintop Removal process.

Today would have been Larry Gibsons 67th birthday. I only met him a few times, but he was the kind of person that met just about everyone — and stamped a deep impression on you. So, we wanted to take today to do something that would have been the right thing to do by Larry.

As people rally in Charleston, WV to save Blair Mountain and stop Mountaintop Removal (MTR) altogether, we thought wed make our position clear that Mountaintop Removal mining must stop immediately.

Thats why Greenpeace fully supports the Appalachian Community Health Emergency (A.C.H.E.) Act.

We support the act because it would stop MTR mining. Period.

Why?

Because of mountaintop removal mining, over four thousand people die yearly because of MTR. 4,000 people.

Because of mountaintop removal mining, Appalachia has disproportionately high levels of cancer, heart disease, pulmonary disease, birth defects and other physical and mental illnesses.

Those are people just like you and me. They are somebody.

Theyre getting bombed out so that people in other places can have clean, reliable electricity.

Because of Mountaintop Removal mining, millions of acres of forests, thousands of miles of streams, over five hundred mountains gone and hundreds of communities impacted.

Coal companies are destroying one of the most biodiverse regions in the world so that people thousands of miles away can flip their light switch and not worry about where the power comes from.

Thats not moral, it’s sure not fair and it needs to stop now. Appalachia is not a sacrifice zone — Larry Gibson was right all along.

Thats why we support the ACHE Act. I hope youll take action on this bill today, share this blog with your friends, and go to the ACHE Act website to get informed.

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