BREAKING: RAN Invades EPA To Protest Mountaintop Removal


photo via RAN

Activists with the Rainforest Action Network are at EPA headquarters blaring John Denver's "Take me Home, Country Roads" and locking themselves to each other to protest the devastating practice of mountaintop removal (MTR) coal mining. The EPA has given the green light for a major new mountaintop removal coal mining permit in Logan County, West Virginia, that will destroy three miles of currently clean streams and 760 acres of forest. This morning, five people entered EPA headquarters in Washington D.C. and sat down in the center of the lobby and locked themselves together. One climber is now standing atop the EPA's front door with two banners reading: "Blowing up mountains for coal contaminates Appalachia's water, Stop MTR" and "EPA - Easier to Poison Appalachia's Water than Defy King Coal."

RAN's Scott Parkin's explained why:

"We're sitting down inside the EPA to demand the EPA stand up to protect Appalachia's precious drinking water, historic mountains and public health from the devastation of mountaintop removal. At issue here is not whether mountaintop removal mining is bad for the environment or human health, because we know it is and the EPA has said it is. At issue is whether President Obama's EPA will do something about it. So far, it seems it is easier to poison Appalachia's drinking water than to defy King Coal."

Yesterday, the EPA green-lighted the Pine Creek Surface Mine. It's the first MTR project approved since the agency released new guidelines on April 1, saying that no project would get approval if it would lead to "significant and irreversible damage to Appalachian watersheds at risk from mining activity."

Follow today's action on Twitter @dirtyenergy. More photos are available here.

More on MTR:
EPA Approves First Mountaintop Removal Coal Mine Under More Stringent Guidelines
EPA to Regulate Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining More Stringently