Mountaintop Removal Mining

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Air date: 
Mon, 01/18/2010 - 12:00am

Many Portlander's think that we get most of our electricity from the Bonneville hydro system, but in fact 40% comes from burning coal, much of it mined by blasting the top off a mountain in Kirk, West Virginia. This week on Locus Focus, guest Judy Bonds, co-director for Coal River Mountain Watch, talks about the impact of this devastating practice on the lives, economy and culture of her community. We'll also hear an update on what's happening at the federal and local level to end mountain top removal mining and put a stop to the wholesale burying of streams under mountains of mine tailings.

Julia "Judy" Bonds is a coal miner's daughter, granddaughter. She is an Appalachian American and her family has lived in the Coal River Valley in West Virginia for 10 generations.

Julia has been fighting for social and environmental justice for Appalachian coalfields since 1998. Julia and others at Coal River Mountain Watch have embarked on a road show to educate America about the clean water act and to educate and motivate Americans about where their electricity comes from and who pays the true price.  Julia says that this road show also serves to dispel negative Appalachian stereotypes.

Julia worked on safety issues on overweight coal trucks and is on the Governor's Safety Committee for commercial trucks. She was named the "Earthmover Award" in GEO Magazine and on Organic Style Magazine's Environmental Power list.  She was recently featured in the Marsh issue of National Geographic, the first "green" issue of May's Vanity Fair and in the July issue of O, The Oprah Magazine. The O Magazine issue focused on tough West Virginian women.

To learn more about mountaintop removal mining and what you can do to help stop it, check out: Find out where the coal that provides your electricity comes from.

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