November 2008


Wild Wonderful WV

The above picture is how many people are greeted into WV for the first the first time.  Do you think that this is what they expect to see in a Wild and Wonderful land?

view from Kayford Mountain

view from Kayford Mountain

On November 6-9, Christians for the Mountains and Restoring Eden: Christians for Environmental Stewardship put on the event Shoutin’ For the Mountains, a Mountain Top Removal Coal Mining Witness tour.  We were very fortunate to have a wonderful group of around 30 students from Christian Colleges all over the country.  Calvin College, Cleveland State University, Eastern University, Grace College, Northern Illinois University, Spring Arbor University, Trinity College and Waynesburg College were  all represented by committed, passionate students that are now ready to be advocates for the Appalachian Mountains and share their experiences with the world.  A High School youth group from Morrow Memorial United Methodist Church in Maplewood, New Jersey also got the chance to join us for part of the road trip throughout the southern coalfields of West Virginia.

It was a very action packed and educational weekend. By meeting with a variety of community members and listening to their struggles, the students got to experience many of the devestating issues that that arise due to Mountain Top Removal such as  poor water quality,  health issues, and  negative impacts on communities. The students also came away with a knowledge of the history of coal mining and union struggles in West Virginia. Participants visited Kayford Mountain, Coal River Mountain, Prenter, Sylvester, Whitesville, Marsh Fork Elementary School, Blair Mountain, Rawl Church of God, Red Jacket, and Matewan.

The students now have a deeper understanding of how Appalachia is involved in America’s energy consumption and have made new connections as to how that pertains to their faith. Now every time they flick on a light  switch, they will remember those communities and individuals that pay the high cost for energy in America.

By the end of the trip, many of the students were already developing plans of action to take back to their colleges and  get more people involved in the struggle to stop Mountain Top Removal and protect coal field communities. It was wonderful to see a group of passionate and committed students that spent a weekend delving in to a rich cultural area that is often misunderstood and overlooked.  Especially in an important time in America’s history where the political landscape is changing and open for new directions, it is great to see that a new generation of advocates for the mountains is springing up and working on how to protect and preserve the Appalachian Mountains, people, and way of life.

Blair Mountain Kayford Mountain

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The DEP has approved one of the permits for Coal River Mountain and blasting could begin at any time.  This would mean that Coal River Wind Project would be in jeopardy and we would lose a great opportunity to create sustainable jobs, clean energy, and a model for much needed sustainable economic development in the region.

Take action to protect Coal River Mountain and the Wind Project:

  • PRAY for Coal River Mountain, the Coal River Mountain Wind Project, and all the people that would be affected by this decision to begin blasting
  • CALL WV Governor Joe Manchin or send him an email and let him know that he has the power to do the right thing and halt the destruction of Coal River Mountain.  Tell him to act on his commitment to renewable energy and that by not taking action on this issue, permanent well-paying jobs, clean energy, and an excellent model for a sustainable future will also be destroyed with the mountain.
  • SHARE this information with your friends, family, and church.  Tell them to take action on this important issue and let them know that we can use God’s creation to benefit the region (through clean energy, permanent jobs, and a preserved heritage) in way that is not harmful and is respectful of what God has given us to care for and tend to.

CALL Gov. Manchin TODAY at: 1-888-438-2731 or send an email to Governor@WVGov.org

For more information please read the message below from the  Coal River Wind Team

Call Gov. Manchin: Stop Massey From Blasting Coal River Mountain

What a way to say Happy Thanksgiving West Virginia! The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has approved Massey Energy’s revision of one of the mountaintop removal coal mining permits for Coal River Mountain.

That means Massey Energy may begin blasting at any time – but only on a small potion of the mountain, so far. Governor Manchin can still stop Massey Energy from ruining Coal River Mountain’s wind energy potential.

In September, your calls and e-mails helped stall the blasting. The Governor has yet to heed the thousands of calls and e-mails he received calling for a “stay of execution” for Coal River Mountain. If he doesn’t act soon, then the clean wind and permanent, safe jobs potential of Coal River Mountain will be in jeopardy.

So we need your help once again to keep the pressure on the Governor.

Call Governor Manchin today at 1-888-438-2731.
Or, e-mail the governor at Governor@WVGov.org

and let him know that you are still paying attention.

For ideas of what message to leave, here area few talking points:

— Mountaintop Removal at Coal River Mountain would destroy all of the wonderful potential of the wind project.

— Wind is the better economic option for Coal River Mountain, but that depends on the mountain being left intact. Coal River Mountain has enough wind potential to provide electricity for between 100,000 and 150,000 homes, forever, while creating approximately 50 well-paying, permanent jobs in an area long dependent upon sparse, temporary coal mining jobs.

— The wind farm would also generate over ten times more county revenue than the mountaintop removal operation would, and this money could be used to stimulate further economic development and to create new, lasting jobs for county residents.

— The DEP has repeatedly denied citizens’ requests for public hearings related to the proposed mining.

— Community members are again asking Governor Joe Manchin to halt the operation and act on his commitment to renewable energy and to the citizens of West Virginia.

To learn more about Coal River Mountain Wind, go to: http://www.coalriverwind.org

Thanks for helping once again!!

— The Coal River Mountain Wind Team —