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May 06, 2011

What I Want for Mother's Day

Mary Anne Hitt and Hazel This Sunday, I will be celebrating my second Mother's Day. My daughter Hazel (pictured at the left testifying with me last year) was born last year a few days prior to Mother's Day, and so I had the unforgettable experience of celebrating my first mother's day with both of her grandmothers - we called it the Mother's Day trifecta. Since that Mother's Day I've gone back to work full-time as the director of the Beyond Coal Campaign at the Sierra Club. It has been the best (and sleepiest!) year of my life.

In that year, Hazel has made a lot of progress: eating solid food, cruising around the house holding onto the furniture, and learning to say her new favorite word (no, it's not "mama" - it's "dog"). In my work, I'm proud of the progress we’ve made in moving the nation beyond coal. Some of the highlights include:

As a mom, all this progress makes me hopeful for Hazel's future. But at the same time, I know we have a lot more work to do. Every year, coal pollution is still sending tens of thousands of kids to the hospital with asthma attacks, endangering infant development in one out of every 12 women, disrupting our climate, and polluting the air and water in places like my home of Appalachia.

So for this Mother's Day, I must admit I'm not expecting a fancy gift from Hazel - a hug and a kiss from her will be the only gift I need. But there are a few things I do want for Mother's Day this year.

For our world, and for her future, I want the Obama Administration to finalize strong new protections from the coal pollution that is making kids and families sick, including mercury, soot, smog, and coal ash. I want more of our oldest, dirtiest coal plants to stop polluting our air and water.

I want to see an end to mountaintop removal coal mining here in Appalachia, which is depriving my daughter - an 11th generation West Virginian - of her heritage and her birthright, the mountains of "The Mountain State." And I want to see thousands more moms standing up across this country and demanding clean energy, for our children's futures. I hope you will join us.

-- Mary Anne Hitt, Director of the Sierra Club Beyond Coal Campaign


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