Two Activists Still Detained!

From Mountain Justice Action

PLEASE SPREAD FAR AND WIDE!

At around 3am we got a call from Rebecca Loeb, in jail with Catherine Ann MacDougal for locking down to a coal barge yesterday. They are both doing well. They said the jail is overcrowded and they’re being kept in a holding cell and not released into the jail’s general population. They want us to try to get them out soon if the situation doesn’t change.

For more info. about the action: http://action.mountainjustice.org/

PLEASE DONATE TO THE CAMPAIGN!

Donate to RAMPS: https://www.wepay.com/donate/57022?ref=widget&utm_medium=widget&utm_campaign=donation

Donate to Mountain Justice: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=GDZ26BUFUNXRC

Additional information:

Follow them on Twitter @CoalIsFilthy

Photos on Flickr

Pro-mountain activists board coal barge and blockade Kayford strip mine haul road

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Contact: Robert Livingston 304.731.1740

http://action.mountainjustice.org

Note: Photos available within 1 – 2 hours.

KAYFORD, W.Va. –Mountain Justice and RAMPS activists blocked coal transport in two locations Thursday morning. Five boarded a barge on the Kanawha River near Chelyan, with a large banner that read “Coal leaves, cancer stays,” and locked their bodies to the barge. At the same time, dozens of concerned citizens obstructed access to the haul road on Kayford Mountain, stopping coal trucks from entering or leaving the Republic Energy mine.

“These actions against coal transport were taken because the viability and health of mountain communities are being destroyed by mountaintop removal—the coal and the profits are shipped away, leaving disease and destruction in their wake,” Rebecca Loeb, one of the people on the barge said.

According to Nathan Joseph, another activist on the barge, the struggle against mountaintop removal in Appalachia is linked to the struggles of other fossil fuel extraction communities across North America and the world.

“The coal industry’s continued disregard for the well-being of Appalachian communities is connected to the struggles of other North American extraction communities. Strip mining tar sands for low-quality oil, fracking for dirty gas and deep sea oil drilling are signs we are scraping the bottom of the barrel. The extraction, transport, processing and combustion of these fuels all disproportionately impact low-income communities, indigenous communities (such as), and communities of color,” Joseph said.

According to a study co-authored by Dr. Michael Hendrix in 2011, a researcher at West Virginia University, “Self-reported cancer rates were significantly higher in the mining versus the non-mining area after control for respondent age, sex, smoking, occupational history, and family cancer history (odds ratio = 2.03, 95% confidence interval = 1.32–3.13). Mountaintop mining is linked to increased community cancer risk.”1 The study’s researchers collected data from 773 adults in door-to-door interviews.

As people in West Virginia see the lack of opportunities, they often leave the area to pursue a future elsewhere. Larry Gibson, of Kayford said, “Our biggest export in this state besides coal is our young people.”

Marilyn Mullens of Coolridge, W.Va., said “Clean water and air is a human right. My electricity is not worth my human rights being violated–I’ll live with the lights off. I want my children and grandchildren to enjoy the beauty of West Virginia. We’re tired of the corporations lording over us, and no one is hearing our voices, so it’s time to take it further than talking.” Mullens is an organizer of Women United to End Mountaintop Removal, a May 28 event, in which women will shave their heads in front of the W.Va. Capitol in protest of mountaintop removal.

“For the past 150 years the coal industry has been pillaging this place and taking everything, leaving nothing but death and destruction in their wake. I am personally very thankful to these young folks who ain’t from around here necessarily who decided to put their freedom and bodies on the line to stop this vicious cycle, even if it is just for one day,” Junior Walk of XX said, “I would love to see some of my native West Virginia brothers and sisters stand up and tell this industry they can’t do this anymore.”

Upcoming events to keep up the pressure:

Additional information:

1From the Abstract of Hendryx M, Wolfe L, Luo J, Webb, B. Self-reported cancer rates in two rural areas of West Virginia with and without mountaintop coal mining. Journal of Community Health, in press.

Seven Activists Held On $10,000 Bond For Halting King Coal

Seven activists were arrested today for halting the delivery of coal to dirty Duke Energy. These activists, James Brady, Elizabeth Mount, Sarah Newman, Gabe Wisniewski, Mickey McCoy, Adam Hall, and Eric Blevins all stood directly in the way and gave Big Coal a direct command: STOP! These activists represented several organizations from within the region: Keepers of the Mountains Foundation, Greenpeace, Radical Action for Mountain People’s Survival (R.A.M.P.S.), and Katuah Earth First!

These activists are each facing a count of impeding a railroad operation, and are currently held on a $10,000 bond. This bond pales in comparison to the damage wreaked by Duke Energy, pales in comparison the profits made by Duke Energy at the expense of the people of Appalachia, and pales in comparison to the price handed off to future generations.

These seven folks stepped up to the plate. What will it take for you to cross the line that Duke Energy has drawn in sand? What are you going to do?

Activists Block Duke Coal Shipment, link Mountaintop Removal to iCloud

CHARLOTTE, NC—This morning, activists from Greenpeace, RAMPS (Radical Action for Mountain People’s Survival), Katuah Earth First!, and Keepers of the Mountains Foundation blocked a coal train en route to the Marshall Steam Station, a Duke Energy coal-fired power plant, and branded the cars with the iconic Apple logo.

Four activists, including leaders from the anti-mountaintop removal movement, locked themselves to the rail tracks preventing the train from passing. Other activists branded the train with Apple’s logo to show that Apple’s growing iCloud will be powered by more coal as its Maiden, NC, data center expands.

“Duke is using datacenter expansion in North Carolina, like Apple’s, to justify reinvesting in old coal-fired power plants and even worse, as an excuse to build new coal and nuclear plants. But if Apple demands renewable energy from Duke Energy to power its iCloud it could help transform both the IT sector’s and North Carolina’s energy economy,” said Gabe Wisnieweski, Greenpeace USA Coal Campaign Director.   “Unfortunately, today Apple’s iCloud uses whatever power Duke offers, and this dirty mix currently includes electricity from burning mountaintop removal coal.  The climate and communities throughout Appalachia and North Carolina are paying the price for Apple and Duke’s short-sighted decisions.”

The Marshall plant burns coal from mountaintop removal, a destructive practice whereby the tops of mountains are blown off to retrieve coal with the debris scraped into adjacent valleys. Air pollution from the Marshall plant causes more than one hundred deaths a year and thousands of asthma attacks. The Marshall Plant is part of the Duke Energy fleet which powers Apple’s iCloud data center in Maiden, North Carolina (1).

Greenpeace’s recent report, “How Clean is Your Cloud?” evaluated fourteen IT companies based on key elements needed to build a clean cloud, including the electricity supply chain of over 80 datacenters (2). The report found that Google and Yahoo are showing commitment to clean energy while Apple, Amazon and Microsoft rely on outdated coal and nuclear energy to deliver their clouds.

Apple has made a limited investment in renewable energy to provide a part of the current power for its data center in North Carolina, but as the facility expands and outgrows this supply, more and more electricity will be provided by Duke’s coal-fired power plants. Apple has sought to downplay the amount of electricity it will buy from Duke by saying that its intended capacity for the Maiden data center is only 20 megawatts (MW). However, today Greenpeace uncovered new information that shows that Apple applied for and was granted permits for backup diesel generators that indicate Apple is equipped for a current power demand of 41 MW of electricity for Phase 1 of its Maiden data center. (3)

“Apple should be more transparent about its coal problem, and take steps to start solving it, as other tech companies have,” said Casey Harrell, Greenpeace International IT analyst.“ Apple should follow the lead of its Silicon Valley and North Carolina neighbor, Facebook, which has committed to set a policy to build future data centers in locations that have access to renewable energy and to lobby the utilities that provide it power, such as Duke, for more access to renewable energy.” (4)

“Corporations must understand that the use and demand for coal from bombing mountains in Appalachia is not only destroying one of the oldest most bio-diverse mountain ranges in the United States, but it is also – by releasing carcinogenic heavy metals into our streams – killing Appalachians, and contributing to the sickness and death of countless others outside the area who depend on these headwaters for their water source,” said activist Mickey McCoy, whose community in Kentucky has suffered the ravages of mountaintop removal.

For more information: contact Keiller MacDuff 202 679 2236

Molly Dorozenski, mdorozen@greenpeace.org917-864-3724

  1. The Toll from Coal: An Updated Assessment of Death and Disease from America’s Dirtiest Energy Sourcehttp://www.catf.us/resources/publications/view/138
  2. http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/publications/Campaign-reports/Climate-Reports/How-Clean-is-Your-Cloud/
  3. http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/Blogs/makingwaves/apple-come-clean-about-your-coal-problem-then/blog/40221/
  4. http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/features/Victory-Facebook-friends-renewable-energy/