Manchin has been a major obstacle in ending mountaintop removal (MTR) in West Virginia and rails publicly against Obama's Environmental Protection Agency taking stronger action to regulate and ban the practice.
The nine day Coal River Mountain tree-sit that ended on Friday has entered a new phase. Mining giant Massey Energy has filed for a temporary restraining order (TRO) in federal court and sued five activists that were part of the action for $75,000 in damages. Ken Ward from the WV Gazette posted the opinion here.
After enduring over a week of ice and rain, mind-numbing noise abuse and harassment by Massey security, Eric and Amber came down today. The Climate Ground Zero tree sitters vowed that the fight to save Coal River Mountain and stop mountaintop removal is far from over.
After almost a year of sustained direct actions in southern West Virginia, three Climate Ground Zero activists scaled trees to stop blasting on Coal River Mountain. David Aaron Smith, 23, Amber Nitchman, 19 and Eric Blevins, 28 are on platforms approximately 60 feet up three tulip poplar trees. They are located next to where Massey Energy is blasting to build an access road to the Brushy Fork Impoundment on its Bee Tree Strip Mine.
Today over 300 coalfield residents and their allies rallied to stop the blasting of Coal River Mountain and to transition to a clean energy future at the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection. Coal River Mountain, the site of a proposed wind farm if blasting can be halted, has become a line in the sand in the fight against mountaintop removal coal mining.
As climate justice movements turn towards the floundering talks in Denmark, people in Appalachia are in the fight of their lives to save Coal River Mountain and end mountaintop removal. On Dec. 7, we’ll be rallying and protesting at the WV Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) demanding that they stop the blasting on Coal River Mountain.