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Scaredy-Cat Reps Seek Quiet Death for TN Mountaintop Removal Ban

Melissa Waage

Posted March 28, 2012 in Health and the Environment

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Yesterday a state House subcommittee declined to vote on the Tennessee Scenic Vistas Protection Act, instead sending it to a summer study panel, where state bills go to die. But there will be no quiet death for this bill. It's still kicking, and so are the thousands of Tennesseans who are saying no to blowing up Tennessee mountains for coal. The Chattanooga Times Free Press has the story.

What does this mean for the future of Scenic Vistas? For one thing, it means that people in Tennessee want this kind of protection for their mountains and are making that clear to their state legislators. Without the heat on them from their constituents to stand up against mountaintop removal, opponents would have opted to bring the bill up for a vote in subcommittee and kill it with more finality. Instead, they were forced to beat a retreat with the cowardly summer study referral.

It also means that this is time to crank up the pressure on Tennessee General Assembly members and the Governor to pass and enact Scenic Vistas next session, before any more mountains can be destroyed.

The first step is for constituents to convey their thanks or their disapproval to the subcommittee members who made this decision yesterday. If you live in Tennessee, check the list below for your state representative's name and either thank them for their leadership or let them know you're disappointed. And watch these pages for the next chapter in the story. 

Voted to kill Scenic Vistas by sending it to summer study:

  • Richard Floyd - Chattanooga/part of Hamilton County
  • John Tidwell - Houston, Humphreys, Perry, and parts of Hickman and Maury Counties
  • David Hawk - Greeneville/part of Unicoi and Greene Counties
  • Andy Holt - Weakley and part of Carroll Counties
  • Pat Marsh - Bedford and parts of Lincoln and Rutherford Counties
  • Frank Nicely - Part of Jefferson and Knox Counties

Voted to keep Scenic Vistas alive: 

  • Art Swann - Parts of Blount and Sevier Counties

 

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Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit NRDC.org.

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