Back in August, Kate brought you the story of Coal River Mountain, one of the last intact mountains in West Virginia’s Coal River Valley. WV activists want to site a wind farm on the mountain (see Coal River Wind); Massey Energy wants to blow the top off and mine coal out of it.

Massey wants to start blowing the mountain up as early as today, but according to state Department of Environmental Protection secretary Randy Huffman, "If they blast, they do so illegally in our opinion." Seems they lack the requisite permits.

Despite the impending lawbreaking, WV governor Joe Manchin has refused to intercede, rejecting a request letter sent yesterday from citizen groups. Manchin, apparently not in touch with his own DEP, says Massey has the permits they need.

As Massey well knows, it’s easier to break laws today and pay small fines tomorrow than it is to wait for permits. All about creating "facts on the ground," you know.

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"Once the demolition begins, it will be very difficult to stop it, and once the mountain is removed, it won’t grow back," said Lorelei Scarbro, community organizer with the group and a resident of nearby Rock Creek. "The potential for wind energy and good jobs will be gone forever, along with our renewable water and forest resources."

Jeff Biggers pleads with the governor to intervene.

Massey is already the most evil company in the world, with the most evil CEO in the world. If they pull this off, they will have basically lapped the other evildoers. We’ll need a new vocabulary to describe them.

UPDATE: Here are some pictures of Coal River Mountain — along with wind potential maps, graphs, etc. — and a feature on CRM on

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