Six activists are currently being held in police custody after trespassing the Kayford coal mine property in West Virginia. The activists locked themselves to coal mining equipment in a successful effort to temporarily shut down mountain removal operations. The bail for each of these young volunteers has been set at $2000, an unprecedented amount for such actions. Donations to the bail fund can be given at mountainjustice.org.
Meanwhile, two more activists are being held for floating a sign that reads "No More Toxic Sludge" at the Massey coal sludge damn, which currently holds 8 billion tons of coal sludge, the condensed byproduct of coal purification. The damn is within miles of Marsh Fork Elementary School. The official charges against these two are trespassing and LITTERING. ON AN 8 BILLION TON COAL SLUDGE MINE. West Virginia police must have a sense of humor.
During his campaign for the Democratic nomination last May, President Obama said that "We're tearing up the Appalachian Mountains because of fossil fuels." In recent months, it looked like the new administration was making progress on this issue, calling into question dozens of new permits for mountain top coal mining. However, the Obama administration has not lived up to its promises. Reuters reported that last week, the EPA gave the green light to the army corps of engineers on 42 new Mountain Top removal sites. The EPA has defended its actions, stating that "Twenty-eight of the projects have two or fewer valley fills. Eleven have no valley fills at all. None have more than six." However, the approval of these permits ensures the destruction of more Appalachian land, and should be reversed.