UBS, the world's third top funder of mountaintop removal in 2011, has taken steps demonstrating its commitment to significantly reduce financing of the mining practice. Last month, the bank confirmed to environmental campaigners that it will continue backing away from mountaintop removal financing.Moreover, UBS has declined to participate in the most recent transactions with its former clients Alpha Natural Resources and Arch Coal, which were among the top producers of mountaintop removal coal in 2013. "UBS' statement is a step in the right direction on mountaintop removal, but it’s the bank's actions that show they’re following through," said Ricki Draper of Hands off Appalachia. "We have seen that grassroots organizing can make a difference in stopping the financing of this deadly form of mining that poisons coalfield communities and contributes to the destruction of Appalachia’s culture and heritage."
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Three activists with Mountain Justice and Radical Action for Mountains and People’s Survival (RAMPS) are currently stopping business as usual at Alpha Natural Resources headquarters in Bristol, VA, in protest of Alpha’s devastating practices of mountaintop removal coal mining. Activists were protesting the opening of new mines on Coal River Mountain in southern West Virginia. Two protestors are locked in front of the front doors of the office, while a third is hanging from a flag pole displaying a banner that reads “Save Coal River Mountain” “That mountain is the mountain I learned to hunt on, it’s the mountain that’s sustained my family for generations. I’ll be a dead man before I see them take what’s left up there,” said Junior Walk, of West Virginia.
Amazing campaign against UBS Stamford based bank that is financing mountaintop removal in Appalachia. The people taking action to stop UBS need your support as 14 were arrested on Monday and are still in jail. Their court date is not until January 8th. Please donate to help get them out. This is part of an active US-based campaign of Hands Off Appalachia demanding UBS change their official policy and stop funding and supporting companies that engage in mountaintop removal coal mining. Mountaintop removal (MTR) is a radical form of coal mining that blasts away mountains and devastates the environment and communities of Appalachia. MTR is being practiced primarily in West Virginia, Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee and according to a 2009 study conducted by Appalachia Voices and the NRDC “roughly 1.2 million acres, including 500 mountains, have been flattened by mountaintop removal coal mining in the central Appalachian region.” According to the Environmental Protection Agency, mountaintop removal destroyed more than 1,200 miles of Appalachian streams and 7 percent of its forests between 1985 and 2001. However, MTR is much more than an environmental or aesthetic issue. It’s true that MTR creates polluted waters and toxic air but this destructive practice also perpetuates economic poverty, poor health, rampant cancer, loss of cultural heritage, and political disenfranchisement.
Citizens from across the country have travelled to the nation’s capitol to urge an end to mountaintop removal coal mining, a radical form of strip mining in Appalachia that has destroyed over 500 mountains and buried or poisoned more than 2,000 miles of streams in Central Appalachia. Citizens met with lawmakers on Capitol Hill as well as the Obama administration agencies. This year they collected toxic water from their home communities, and brought containers of it to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Citizens of Appalachia are sitting on the EPA steps to demand that the EPA accept the water and acknowledge their demand for stronger water quality rules.
By Candace Bernd for TruthOut. Activists from Kentucky and across the US met in Washington, DC, this week to highlight the intersections between environmental justice issues and the prison-industrial complex, and to protest plans for the construction of a new federal prison at a mountaintop-removal coal mining site that they say will impact the health of incarcerated people and endangered species. The Bureau of Prisons (BOP) plans to allocate $444 million in federal money to construct a new maximum-security prison at a 700-acre site in Roxana, in the Appalachian Mountains of eastern Kentucky. The location is the site of a former mountaintop-removal coal mine and constitutes habitat for scores of endangered species. Mountaintop-removal mining involves exploding and flattening the tops of mountains to expose underlying coal seams, and has long polluted regional waterways.