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Scrapbook: Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining On Tour

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Sierra Club Scrapbook

October 22, 2008

Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining On Tour

Mtr_road_show_3

No, not the practice itself - but Sierra Club National Coal Campaign team member Lauren Trevisan went on the road in September and October to increase awareness about this devastating practice most commonly found in Appalachia.

As part of this Mountaintop Removal (MTR) Road Show, Trevisan traveled to Des Moines, Iowa, inwhere she spoke to more than 40 people about MTR. In October, Trevisan took the road show to two sites in Delaware, speaking to more than 60 people. She said the focus of the road show was not only to publicize the realities of MTR mining itself, but also to encourage the public to speak to their Congressional leaders on behalf of the Clean Water Protection Act.

"In both (states), when I initially asked how many people had heard of MTR, only a few raised their hands," said Trevisan. "Many had similar reactions - disbelief, incredulity that this could be legal, and sympathy for the people in Appalachia.  People seemed to respond equally strongly to the environmental devastation and the community impacts."

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Trevisan said that made it easy to talk about supporting the CWPA, and many road show attendees then wrote letters to their Congressional representatives asking them to support the bill.

"Numerous people seemed surprised at the audacity of the Bush Administration's Clean Water Act rule change (which changed the definition of fill to include waste from mining operations) which made valley fills legal," she explained. "At the end of the presentations people were very willing to write letters, and gave us a lot of good feedback - namely that they are concerned about this issue, and want to do what they can to stop it and move towards renewable energy."

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Another highlight for Trevisan included the high school science teacher and her students who attended the Iowa presentation and committed to getting involved. Trevisan said overall, she enjoyed people becoming spurred into action after learning that just about everyone in the U.S. is affected by MTR - whether it's through their homes being powered by MTR coal, or by their homes being powered by companies who engage in MTR in Appalachia.

To learn more about mountaintop removal coal mining, check out the National Coal Campaign's MTR website.

All photos courtesy Lauren Trevisan.

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