Monday, May 4, 2015

500 Mountains Gone, Don't Let Big Coal Take Another!

My name is Donna Branham and I live in Mingo County, WV -- smack dab in the middle of coal mining country. I'm a registered nurse and I've seen firsthand how mining hurts the health of my community. I've seen how it is making my community sick1 and year after year it's only getting worse.

Mountaintop-removal coal mining blows off the tops of mountains to extract the coal that fuels our nation's power plants. It has already leveled 500 mountains and buried over 1,200 miles of streams2 -- but it gets worse. It raises my community's risk of birth defects, cancer, and heart disease.3

Right now, dozens of permits are pending for new mines and the EPA could approve them any day. If they get approved, it will mean more people get sick and more mountains get destroyed. I don't know about you, but I don't want any more families to suffer the effects of Big Coal's pollution.

Send a message to the EPA before it's too late. I'm tired of seeing families get sick just so Big Coal can increase its profits. Tell EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy to put our health first: no more mountaintop-removal coal mines.

A few years ago, Island Creek Coal Company opened a mountaintop-removal coal mine two miles from the house where I grew up and where my Mom and Dad still lived. Because of the danger, my parents had to leave their home so that they could have a reasonable life. My Mom never felt at home again.

After that, I knew I had to act. The coal companies are putting a burden on us, and it isn't fair. I've got grandchildren, and I want them to live in a better world. That's why I'm calling on the EPA to put our health first, and why I'm asking you to take action.

Send a message to the EPA today, and let them know that families, like mine, need them to stand up to and say no to any more mountaintop-removal coal mines. Our health depends on it.

There have been many times where folks, like us, worked together to make change happen. If it weren't for mothers demanding a right to vote, women would still not be allowed at the polls. It takes people like you and me who get fed up enough to take action to make a change.

I can't do it alone, but I know that if we stand together we can create a better life for our children and grandchildren! Tell the EPA to protect families from mountaintop-removal coal mining today.

Thanks for all you do to protect our environment!

Sincerely,

Donna Branham
Sierra Club Volunteer
Mingo County, WV
donna branham, wv

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1. http://www.kentucky.com/2011/06/22/1785176/study-notes-spike-in-birth-defects.html

2. http://www.sierraclub.org/coal/mtr/

3. http://ilovemountains.org/the-human-cost

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