Accounts and Accountability

It’s time to go to the source. Who are the chief offenders in Mountaintop Removal pollution and violations, and where does their money come from?

Washington, DC — The Sierra Club is seeking to join federal prosecutors and other environmental groups in a lawsuit to hold Massey Energy Company accountable for thousands of Clean Water Act violations associated with their mining operations. Massey has been charged by the government with illegal dumping of coal slurry waste, rubble, wastewater and other pollutants into Appalachian waterways. Representing Sierra Club in the challenge are the Appalachian Center for the Economy & the Environment and Earthjustice.

… The government has documented over 4,600 cases of pollution being illegally dumped into local waters by Massey and its subsidiaries, which operate dozens of mountaintop removal and other large-scale surface mines in Appalachia. On the heels of the administration decision to open the door for new, expanded mining, Massey needs to be held accountable before more damage is done.

Massey (and Peabody) are bankrolled by Bank of America. And that’s not okay. Read about protests last week against BOA at Virginia Tech, Harrisonburg, and Asheville.

The VISA that we’ve used for a decade is drawn on Bank of America. I am prepared to take the sissors to our plastic (anybody got a camera?) and mail the pieces to BOA headquarters with a letter explaining WHY.

If a few tens of thousands of us did the same this month, you suppose we’d get their attention?  If the federal government feeds these people, we can starve them. Think about it.

And have you left your comment against the pending (DE)regulation that fatally weakens the Clean Water Act’s enforcement in MTR areas?  To remain silent is a choice. We have the means to be heard. Let’s use it, bloggers.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. “To remain silent is a choice. We have the means to be heard. Let’s use it, bloggers…..”

    Amen, Fred! And I will be checking to see who funds our credit card and will be cutting up, too, if I find out it’s Bank of America. Thanks for the heads up!

    I met yesterday with our Congressman’s aide about MTR and urged him to co-sponsor the Clean Water Protection Act. Since I’m in a state where coal runs politics, I doubt it did any good, but I have to try.