Thursday, March 1, 2012

Tell Congress: Only God Should Move Mountains

Tell Congress: Only God Should Move Mountains

Two recent studies have revealed the following shocking facts about mountaintop removal coal mining:
  • Reclaimed mountaintop removal sites, even those that have been closed for decades, continue to harm water quality, poisoning aquatic life and damaging the health of all those who live downstream.[1]
  • Infants have a significantly higher risk of birth defects (by as much as 42%, according to a July 2011 study) in mountaintop removal communities. [2]

Last year we saw legislators in Washington, DC, continue to threaten the few regulations that protect our precious rivers and streams from the destructive effects of this kind of mining. We know that these attacks will only increase in the coming year. For those of us who care about God's Creation and our neighbors in Appalachia, now is the time to speak up.  Sign the petition!

Mountaintop removal destroys and pollutes the homes of our neighbors in Appalachia. Mountaintop removal is what it sounds like; in order to reach coal seams, mining companies blast the tops off of mountains, then often place the resulting rubble in neighboring valleys and streams. Mountaintop removal sites pollute watersheds for years after the coal has been removed. All the creatures and people who live downstream suffer.

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has a long tradition of opposing this kind of destructive mining practice.  In 2006, the 217th General Assembly “urge[d] state and federal agencies that regulate mining practices, as well as coal companies themselves, to abandon the practice of mountaintop removing coal mining and work to meet our nation’s energy needs in a manner that is just, sustainable, and consistent with Christian values.” 

We know that many of you have long opposed mountaintop removal coal mining because of the irreversible destruction it does to God’s mountains and people. Our faithful voices will only become more important in the coming year. Let’s join with our ecumenical partners, Christian brothers and sisters across the nation, in raising our voices against mountaintop removal.  Sign this petition today!

The Office of Public Witness is partnering with the National Council of Churches Eco-Justice Program on this, and many other issues.  For more information on MTR, or to order postcards bearing this petition, contact Will Layton at the NCC.

1"Cumulative impacts of mountaintop mining on an Appalachian Watershed" -
2 "The association between mountaintop mining and birth defects among live births in central Appalachia, 1996–2003"