February 3, 2009
In Pettus, West Virginia, five Coal River Mountain activists were arrested and charged with trespassing after locking themselves to a bulldozer and a backhoe at a Massey Energy mountaintop-removal mine site.
In the face of an impending 6,600 acre mountaintop removal strip mine, they planted a banner for the Coal River Wind Project, a nationally acclaimed proposal that would create 200 local construction jobs and 50 permanent jobs, enough energy for 150,000 homes, and allow for sustainable forestry and mountain tourism projects, as well as a limited amount of underground mining.
After the TVA coal ash disaster in December, when a billion gallons of coal ash poured out of a pond and deluged 400 acres of land in six feet of sludge, the Coal River Mountain activists fear blasting for the proposed mountaintop removal site on Coal River Mountain, which rests beside a 6 billion-gallon toxic coal waste sludge dam above underground mines, could be catastrophic for the communities downstream.
"Massey could flood the towns of Pettus, Whitesville and Sylvester with toxic coal sludge," said Julia Bonds, of Rock Creek, W.Va. "Blasting at a multi-billion-gallon sludge lake over underground mines could cause the sludge to burst through and kill thousands of people."
For a powerful documentary about this struggle over mountain top removing see http://www.burningthefuture.org/
Burning The Future: Coal in America - Trailer from Odessa Films on Vimeo.