Target: Director of the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Francis Collins
Goal: Stop killing the Appalachian people with mountaintop removal mining.
The coal industry is poisoning the people of Appalachia. Coal mining has been destroying the Appalachian environment for decades, but now the studies are firm that mountaintop removal mining is poisoning the people as well. In West Virginia, Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee, residents of the region called Appalachia have elevated rates of birth defects and cancer levels that are three times the national average. It’s all due to the poison dust produced when the entire top of a mountain is torn off with massive explosions, just so the finite resources within the mountain can be literally gorged out.
New research has been termed “solid evidence” of a direct connection between mountain top removal mining and diseases ravaging the people of Appalachia. Polluting dust fills the air when explosions are large enough to blow the top off a mountain. These massive explosions throw billions of fine metal particles into the air where they travel on air currents and, eventually, into the lungs of people who live in the vicinity. It’s been happening for a long time, but it’s gotten so bad that emergency legislation in Congress would force states to stop issuing permits for mountaintop removal and make an attempt to save the people who are being poisoned by it.
The Appalachian Community Health Emergency Act, also called ACHE, and you have to ache for the suffering of these people whose health is being destroyed for corporate profit. The ACHE Act would place an emergency moratorium on new mountaintop removal mining permits and prevent the expansion of existing permits. Tell the National Institutes of Health that this is the only moral approach to a public health crisis created and perpetuated for far too long by an irresponsible industry and a lax government.
Dear Dr. Collins,
We are killing the people of Appalachia with mountaintop removal mining and it’s got to stop. Mountaintop removal mining isn’t just completely destructive to the natural world—It’s also the most deadly form of mining for those who live in the vicinity. Powerful explosives are used to rip the tops off mountains. In the process, millions of fine metal particles are thrown into the air and end up in people’s lungs. Solid evidence now exists that these particles are a direct connection between mountaintop removal mining in Appalachia and elevated levels of birth defects as well as cancer levels three times the national average.
The people of Appalachia are being forced to suffer and die so that an industry can prosper and that’s got to stop. The coal industry has brought a humanitarian disaster down on the people of West Virginia, Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee that is patently immoral. We must reject mountaintop removal mining for having created a public health crisis and we must support the Appalachian Community Health Emergency Act.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Lou Gold