Mountaintop Removal for Coal Mining
A press conference was held in Danforth Friday where some folks from the South urged Mainers to do their part to help stop mountaintop removal for coal mining. It’s a process where the mountain top is blown off, the coal removed, then the top of the mountain is thrown into rivers and streams.Meghan Hayward explains why they were in Maine today.These residents of Appalachia were brought to Maine by the Natural Resouces Council of Maine. They’re asking Mainers for help in stopping mountaintop removal mining. There’s currently a bill in the US Senate that will put an end to it. “We desperately need Mainers to contact Senator Snowe and Senator Collins to support renewable energy and to cosponsor the Appalachia Restoration Act.”They say Mainers get about 10 percent of their electricity from several coal-fired plants throughout New England. ” The consequences of using this coal are tremendous. And we’re losing family culture and we’re losing the environment and a way of life.”Field Organizer for Appalachian Voices, Austin Hall, says to fully understand the damages of this kind of mining, you need to live there. But they hope to make a connection with Mainers and put a face on the issue. “It’s all encompassing. There’s negativity. There’s poverty and sickness everywhere.” Mary Love is from Kentucky and made the trip to share a story of a close friend of hers. “Her little girl is six now. But she’s been bathing her from the time she was 2 in water that has an arsenic content that’s 100 times the maximum recommended by the EPA.” The press conference took place in front of the Stetson Wind Farm because this group supports clean energy. ” For us to be driving some place where energy is being produced quietly and cleanly by beautiful structures is pretty amazing.”.