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Rob Perks’s Blog

Support Wind, Save a Mountain: The Battle for Coal River Mountain

Rob Perks

Posted October 27, 2009 in Curbing Pollution, Health and the Environment, Saving Wildlife and Wild Places, Solving Global Warming

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Let me get this straight.

President Obama, touting his administration's support for clean energy, visited Florida yesterday to tour the DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center, with its solar panels sprawling across 180 acres that can generate power for 3,000 homes.

Yet on Coal River Mountain, where Massey Energy has begun blasting in preparation for a massive mountaintop removal project, the intact peak could be the site of a wind farm that would generate enough power for 70,000 homes -- not to mention provide permanent jobs and an estimated $1.7 million in taxes to the county every year.

For the last two years, local residents have campaigned for the opportunity to place a commercial-scale wind farm on Coal River Mountain instead of the mountaintop removal mining that has been permitted by the state.  The Coal River Wind campaign has focused on asking West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin to rescind the mining permits for Coal River Mountain. So far, Governor Manchin has denied the group's request.

"The Coal River Wind Campaign has been a symbol of hope for the people of the Coal River Valley," said Lorelei Scarbro, organizer for Coal River Mountain Watch.  "My neighbors are excited about the idea of jobs that allow them to produce energy in a way that is sustainable.  Coal River Mountain, the last standing mountain in the valley, should remain intact as a symbol for a new day in the Appalachian coalfields."

Here is a great short video about the campaign:

So, in West Virginia -- and throughout Appalachia -- the coal companies continue to tear down America's ancient mountains for the dirtiest, deadliest -- and costliest -- of fossil fuels.

Please take a moment to call President Obama today at 202-456-1414 and implore him to mobilize federal agencies to stop the senseless destruction of Coal River Mountain immediately.

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