A delegation of grassroots groups from around Appalachia will be at the UN’s Commission on Sustainable Development meetings this week to discourage further MTR abuse and advocate for alternatives (More on them here: www.stopmtr.org). New Yorkers, turn up for this if you can:


A delegation of Appalachia coalfield citizen groups will hold a news event at 2 p.m. on Tuesday (May 8, 2007) in Dag Hammarskjold Plaza Park to call on the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development to abolish radical forms of coal surface mining, such as mountaintop removal. Coal extraction industry abuses have destroyed more than one million acres of forests, 500 mountains and 1,000 miles of streams in recent years in the Appalachian region of the United States. The groups will urge the UN Commission to embrace greater use of renewable energy, cuts in fossil fuel consumption and a shunning of liquid-coal and so-called clean coal technologies.

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News event speakers will be Ann League, coalfield resident and vice president, Save Our Cumberland Mountains, Lake City, TN; Judy Bonds, coalfield resident and organizer, Coal River Mountain Watch, Whitesville, WV; Erica Urias, coalfield resident and member, Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, London, KY; and Larry Gibson, coalfield resident and board member, Ohio Valley Environmental Council, Huntington, WV.

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Every year in central Appalachia, one million metric tons of explosives are used by the coal industry to blow up our mountains, equaling the explosive force of 58 Hiroshima-sized atomic bombs. The impacts do not stop at a mountain’s edge: schools suffer from dangerous levels of coal dust, homes are damaged by blasting and increased flooding, and entire communities have been forced out as a direct result of the impacts of large surface mines. With the beauty of our mountains destroyed, much of the landscape unable to support native forests, and water supplies frequently contaminated, communities in Appalachia are left with few economic alternatives other than the coal companies that are destroying the region and its peoples’ way of life.

EVENT DETAILS: Tuesday (May 8, 2007), 2 p.m., Dag Hammarskjold Plaza Park, on East 47th Street between United Nations Plaza (1st Avenue) and 2nd Avenue. In the event of inclement weather, the event will be moved indoors.

CONTACT: Ailis Aaron Wolf, (703) 276-3265 or aaaron@hastingsgroup.com; and, also on May 8, 2007: Kevin Pence, (606) 335-0764 (cell).

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