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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 2/3/10

In the Face of King Coal, Tree Sitters Triumph

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As the Obama Administration continues to glorify the use of "clean" coal to solve America's energy problems, a movement of Americans in Appalachia consistently is engaging in nonviolent civil disobedience against coal interests in West Virginia, which support a destructive form of mining known as mountaintop removal (MTR) that involves blowing the tops off of mountains to get to the coal.

Mountain Justice and Climate Ground Zero, groups withindividuals who regularly put their bodies on the line to stop the use of explosives on mountains,recently concluded a major "tree sit" that lasted nine days. A recent drop in temperature was responsible for the activists' decision.

Tree-sitters were immediately arrested by West Virginia State Troopers when they left the trees, but that was no problem. Over the course of nine days the tree sitters received national media attention, forced the West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin to meet with activists, and clogged the phone system at Massey Energy and the governor's office with call-in days.

The tree-sitters occupied trees on Coal River Mountain to halt the blasting of it.

Richard Bradford explained, "Coal River Mountain [is] the last mountain around here that hasn't been touched and they [could be] using it for windmills"But Massey wants to get that coal. It seems like they just don't care about the populace. Just the land and their checkbook."

There's nothing clean about coal and nor will there really ever be. "Clean" coal is a devious political buzz phrase that the people of this country need to consistently cut through.

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Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof Press. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure." He was an editor for OpEdNews.com
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