The Last Mountain is a new documentary film detailing the gross environmental destruction of mountaintop removal [MTR] coal mining, featuring interviews with some of the activists most involved in trying to save the beautiful Appalachian mountains from King Coal.
The subject of MTR has been covered previously on this blog in a number of posts, including EPA Halts MTR Permits for Review, with information about EPA administrator Lisa Jackson’s attempt to slow the destruction – a task that has been less than successful due to the power of King Coal. Old King Coal vs. Reality talks about some of the legislative actions attempted by states impacted by MTR to prevent the continued destruction of mountains and entire watersheds – which have also been less than successful. Old King Coal, a Filthy Old Soul described some of the environmental horrors being visited upon the land, water and people of the Appalachian highlands by a coal mining method that has succeeded in eliminating 40,000 jobs for those same people while burying more than 2,000 miles of once pure mountain streams and flattening 500 mountains.
The film’s fine website includes links and outlines of ways you can help end mountaintop removal mining, something people even well outside the Appalachian region should support. We must not allow these most ancient and abundant mountains on earth to be utterly destroyed to serve the bottom line of criminal enterprises like Massey Energy – which racked up more than 60,000 environmental violations between 2000 and 2006 and criminal charges for violations leading to the explosion at its Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia that killed 29 miners in 2008.
It’s not easy to stand against King Coal. Just in the last two years more than 200 people have been arrested in civil disobedience protests just in West Virginia and Kentucky, two states that are suffering the bulk of destruction and the loss of more than a million acres of forest and dozens of towns. This extreme form of coal extraction has turned the coal fields of eastern Kentucky, West Virginia, eastern Tennessee and southwest Virginia into a moonscape of barren, toxic wasteland. What needs to happen, and needs to happen soon, is for so many people to make a stand that the unholy alliance of King Coal, state politicians on the take and law enforcement are forced to step aside.
Please see this film. Arrange a showing (can be done through the website) and invite all your friends and neighbors, maybe your co-workers and boss. Join or support some of the alliance groups that have supported the production of The Last Mountain. Some of these are listed and linked below.
If the Appalachians are destroyed for their coal thousands of homesteads will be destroyed along with them, along with the loving work all those homesteaders did to develop their little pieces of heaven on earth for themselves, their families, and all of us who are making the same effort in our own lives, wherever we are doing it. We all must stand with the people of Appalachia against the forces of destruction-for-profit. Thanks, Homesteaders! Let’s get together and end this outrage now, not later!
I Love Mountains
Coal River Mountain Watch
Natural Resources Defense Council
Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition