Thursday, December 18, 2008

letter to the President Elect

Anyone with an ethical barometer is aghast at what is happening to my home; the sound of the train, the lovely Christmas lights, the glitz of the big city all become shadowed by the devastation they create behind the curtain of a snarled treeline ridge. I know what is happening because I hear the trees screaming, the bears crushed in their dens, the owls and hawks searching for their young; I hear the mountains weeping and I see the sickness in all my people and the lies on the billboards.
I voted for you and I prompted friends, family and strangers to vote for you because I heard what you said about my mountain home-- that the destruction must stop; now you must stop it. This will not be difficult to do. All you have to do is make the coal companies obey the laws in place before the evil Bush Administration sold our lives to King Coal for whatever perks will ensure his continued standard of living. One kind of critical law that ensures we all have clean water to drink just says don't dump into the stream- heavy metals or toxins that would kill the children, birds, game, fish that we enjoy and rely upon having for our future. Another law is about the same thing; it just states that you also would not dump any toxic hazardous heavy metals or unlined pollution within 100 feet of a stream. How hard is that, to keep our source of clean water protected?

We are smart. We went to the MOON! We went and we came back, and we can take digital images and send email and so I KNOW we can collect naturally occurring energy like sun, wind and rain to produce all the energy we need, and if those coal hounds want in on the action, they need to switch over now or go to jail for the war crimes they have committed against our country-- they have been breaking the law! killing people! killing resources! killing centuries of our future!
What are we going to do after the rapists have left and our land has been salted and the water a mire of mercury and lead? lakes of sludge impoundments that half the county doesn't even know exists yet?

I hope it won't take 100 days to stop this destruction; I would hope that you would protect the water on DAY ONE and then go see about those boys with human debris in their ice shipments over seas.

And because the Corp of Engineers has broken laws and has not upheld other laws, they should be completely dismantled and replaced-- kind of like the air traffic controllers were back in the seventies, except that this time, there is a good reason and the people will be behind your decision. Replace them with something like the GI bill incentives-- give education in green technology and pull them off the streets of Success City, Detroit, where the old economy has created such hopeless-ness and give America back to us.

the rest of this letter I got from, who was kind enough to put together a form so that I could write directly to the President's office-- where they are reading the mail! isn't that something! I love that-- I guess it should not be a shock, but after having a boot in the face for the whole of my youth, I guess I am just relieved to still be human.

I envision a country that would never allow destruction of natural and cultural heritage for its energy needs. Mountaintop removal coal mining is one of the most devastating practices perpetrated in the United States today. Please do the following to ensure we stop this egregious practice:

* Reverse the Bush Administration's weakening of the Stream Buffer Zone. Allowing coal companies to dump their mining waste into America's streams completely legitimizes the devastating practice of mountaintop removal coal mining.

* Enforce the Law: Hold the EPA, the Office of Surface Mining, Reclamation, and Enforcement, and the Army Corps of Engineers accountable for enforcing vital protections like the Clean Water Act and the Stream Buffer Zone Rule.

* Urge Congress to Pass the Clean Water Protection Act: The Clean Water Protection Act is necessary to permanently protect drinking water and to protect Appalachian coalfield residents who face frequent catastrophic flooding and pollution as a result of mountaintop removal.

* Prioritize Appalachia in America's Clean Energy Future: Some mountaintops in Appalachia have huge wind power potential and would be more beneficial in that regard than as flattened landscape. Please make Environmental Impact Assessments and economic analyses mandatory as part of your New Energy for America Plan. With finite and declining coal reserves and jobs, please ensure Appalachia receives attention and support as part of your $150 billion dollar investment in green, union jobs.

I look forward to seeing you take a leadership role in fighting mountaintop removal. Please visit to learn more about mountaintop removal.

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