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Coal Field Residents to Participate in United Nations Meeting
Posted March 27, 2006, 4:05 pm
This May, The United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development will
meet in New York to discuss international energy strategy.
As most government officials continue to ignore the atrocities of
mountain top removal, coal sludge impoundments, and underground
injections of sludge, it is up to the people to let the world know the
harsh realities of an economy built on seemingly cheap electricity.
The United Nations needs to know that we cannot have sustainable
communities without the mountains on which we rely for clean water,
clean air, our health, and the health of our children. It is the people
of Appalachian coal mining communities who are most immediately paying
the true costs of coal, and so…
The first Coal Field Delegation to the United Nations will be attending
the U.N. Commission on Sustainable Development. A group of ten inspiring
coal field residents are prepared to take the truth to the UN, but we
need your support if we are going to make it. Please help us raise the
$7,000 we need to get to New York this May and ensure that the
international debate on sustainable energy development includes the
voice of the people. We are half-way to our goal.
Learn about some of the delegates
Donetta Blankenship lives in Rawl, WV. This past year she learned her
water was laden with heavy metals. Many in her community have skin
rashes, boils, kidney problems, and liver problems that have linked to
environmental toxic poisoning. Donetta herself was diagnosed recently
with an auto immune disease of the liver and her children stay sick with
breathing problems and skin rashes. Donetta and her neighbors believe
the sickness in their community has been caused by coal sludge injected
underground that has made its way into their groundwater.
Larry Gibson’s home used to be one of the lowest lying ridge points of
Kayford Mountain in WV. His family has been there for over 200 years.
Today, his meager fifty acres sits hundreds of feet above the 7,538
acres that has already been flattened around him by mountaintop removal.
Looking out, you would see a moonscape where a mountain once stood.
Larry has toured the country urging people to help stop MTR. He founded
Stanley Family Heirs in 1992 to protect the remaining piece of the
Pam Maggard teaches special education to children in Perry County, KY.
She got involved in organizing her community with Kentuckians for the
Commonwealth because of the over loaded coal trucks taking over the
local roads. The injustice in the coal fields has been affecting her
family since the 1970s when a coal company pushed her grandparents out
of their homeplace. "I'm not against coal mining," said Pam, "but there
has got to be a way to do it better and safer."
Maria Gunnoe lives in Bob Whites in Boone County, WV. Since the mountain
behind her house was torn down, her children sleep with their clothes on
when it rains, afraid the mountain is going to come down on them; they
have been flooded five times since the year 2000. What were once clean
streams now flow around her house with toxic run-off from the mountain
top removal sites.
Support the Delegation
Please support these residents and all people most immediately impacted
by the true costs of coal. Make checks payable to The Appalachian
Coalition for Just and Sustainable Communities, and send to PO Box 161
Whitesburg, KY 41858, or contact Patricia Feeney at 606-632-0051,