Environment
11:27 am
Wed June 6, 2012

Environmental Activists Occupy Hal Rogers' Office Over Mountaintop Removal

UPDATE 1:11pm: Seven protesters have been arrested from Hal Rogers' office. Activists in West Virginia Congressman Nick Rahall's office and Virginia Congressman Morgan Griffith's office were also arrested. According to the group's Twitter feed, those in the office of Tennessee Congressman Jimmy Duncan were given a warning.

Environmental activists are in Washington, D.C. this week for the 7th straight year, lobbying members of Congress to put an end to mountaintop removal.

A group of Kentucky activists is currently holding a sit-in in Kentucky Congressman Hal Rogers’ office. Groups from other states are targeting Nick Rahall (West Virginia), Morgan Griffith (Virginia) and Jimmy Duncan (Tennessee).

Here’s a list of the activists’ demands:

  1. We demand the immediate stop of mountaintop removal coal mining
  2. We demand a face to face meeting between Hal Rogers and concerned citizens of Kentucky
  3. We demand the diversification of Kentucky’s economy- in particular redirecting coal subsidies towards energy efficiency, renewable energies, and the retraining of former miners.

Mountaintop removal coal mining is a controversial form of strip mining where the entire ridge of the mountain is removed to reach thinner coal seams underneath. The “overburden,” as it’s called, is deposited into valleys as “valley fills.”

According to the Twitter feed of the Canary Project, police have shown up, but left without requiring the protestors to leave Rogers’ office. They have a live feed here.

I’ll update here as there’s more information.