December 2008

On January 21, thousands of people from all walks of life are coming together to call the White House. On this call, we are going to ask President Obama to:

  • Say YES to renewable energy.
  • Say YES to energy efficiency.
  • Say NO to carbon capture sequestration (CCS).
  • Say NO to nuclear power.

This day of action is being organized by CLEAN, a collaborative movement of organizations and individuals with the common goal of implementing a new energy future. The goal is for 10,000 calls to be made to President Obama on his first  day in office.  Christians for the Mountains has pledged to make 400 calls. Please help us reach this goal! Let President Obama know how you feel about clean energy, the role of coal in our country, and the extremely  devastating effects that Mountaintop Removal is having on Appalachian communities, culture, and and environment.

Go to the CLEAN website, and choose Christians for the Mountains as the organization you pledge to call on behalf of. You will be sent an email reminder close to January 21st. There is a sample script on the website, but feel free to use your own words.  Let President Obama know that your faith motivates you to take action for renewable energy and why it is important to you as a Christian that the United States take giant steps in transitioning toward a clean energy economy.

Share this with you friends and families.  This is your chance to let the new president know that clean energy should be one his top priorities.

Slurry Impoundment break in Tennessee

Slurry Impoundment break in Tennessee

It looks like God is at it again. 8 years ago 300 million gallons of coal slurry broke through its impoundment to ruin drinking water for 25,000 people, kill fish and other aquatic life, and make a big mess. The coal company claimed it was an “Act of God.”

Just this past Monday December 22 about 500 millions of the coal goo broke through an impoundment 40 miles east of Knoxville, Tennessee. Thankfully no one died as about 22 homes were gunked. Dead fish were reported downstream in a watershed that flows into the Tennessee River. The spill is about 30 times that of the well-known Valdez oil spill.

Tennessee Valley Authority spokesman Gil Francis spoke with reporters on Tuesday.
GIL FRANCIS: The ash pond is approximately forty acres. It’s an area where once the coal is burned, you stack the ash in a pond. And we’ve had about five inches of rain. We think that perhaps the rain and the freezing temperatures may be a contributing factor to the ash pond slide.
REPORTER: What is that dike made out of, and when was it last checked?
GIL FRANCIS: It’s an engineering constructed pond that you take the ash from the plant once the coal has been burned, and you stack it in a pond. And that’s what we did. And apparently the dike that was there failed, and as a result, there was an ash slide, like a mudslide.
REPORTER: Has it been checked recently?
GIL FRANCIS: Yes, it’s checked periodically. There is a schedule of inspections that are being done. I’ll have to get you the exact time it was checked last, but it is checked regularly.

Back to me. It seems like if the pesky freeze and 5 inches of rain had not happened, then the well-constructed, regularly inspected dam would not have broken. Seems like God is at fault, huh?

Which means that places like Marsh Fork Elementary School in Sundial, West Virginia, that lies underneath a massive coal slurry impoundment might not be safe, either, from a capricious God who doesn’t even respect the upcoming Chrismas season.

Do I sound cynical? Or am I simply sarcastic because I am so angry that these monstrous slurry impoundments continue to threaten and damage communities because big coal is the god that rules these areas.

Now is the time to take strong action to stop this dangerous practice!

See link for Democracy Now transcript  here.

Coal River Mountain is one of the last mountains left intact in the beautiful Coal River Valley of West Virginia. However, Massey Energy has plans to mine 6,000 acres of the mountain – or almost 10 square miles via mountaintop Removal. The proposed mining would bury over 20 miles of streams with valley fills, contaminate local water resources, put local communities in further danger of flash floods, and completely eliminate the available wind resource.

Fortunately, there is an alternative to mountaintop removal mining on Coal River Mountain -wind power. This is a unique opportunity to move our nation and the state of West Virginia toward the production of clean energy, and to preserve God’s creation for generations to come. The Christian community has become increasingly vocal in the biblical call of environmental stewardship and thereby very supportive of alternative energy resources.  (for more info go to   But we have to act quickly! Recently a permit has been issued which means Massey could begin blasting at any time and the wind project is in danger.

On Tuesday, December 9th, Coal River Mountain Watch is holding two press conferences. The more supporters present at the conferences, the more successful they will be!

Press Conferences are scheduled for:

1:30 p.m., Beckley, WV at The Tamarack in the Atrium Dining Room

4:30 p.m., Charleston, WV at the Capitol building in the Governor’s Conference Room

A coalition between Christians for the Mountains and Restoring Eden: Christians for Environmental Stewardship has formed and initiated a campaign to support the wind project.  Representatives from both organizations will be present at both press conferences and will present  Gov. Manchin with a letter stating our support as Christians for the wind project.

Please read the online version of our letter and add your signature.
Act quickly and please share this with as many of your friends and church members as possible.

Tell WV Gov. Manchin that it is important to your faith and the people of southern WV that he halt the destruction Coal River Mountain and support the Coal River Wind Project.
I also urge you to contact Gov. Manchin yourself and tell him your concerns.
CALL Gov. Manchin TODAY at: 1-888-438-2731 or send an email to