Three more tree-sitters launch protest at Massey

January 21, 2010 by Ken Ward Jr.


Climate Ground Zero just announced that three of its supporters have taken to the trees at Massey Energy’s operations on Coal River Mountain:

The sitters plan to remain in the trees as long as it takes to stop blasting on Coal River Mountain. Climate Ground Zero’s action campaign, begun in February of last year, has kept up a sustained series of direct actions since that time continuing decades-long resistance to strip mining in Appalachia.

The sitters are calling for the EPA to put an end to mountaintop removal and encourage the land-holding companies to develop clean energy production.

One Response to “Three more tree-sitters launch protest at Massey”

  1. Ken Ward Jr. says:

    Here’s a press release from Massey Energy about this protest:

    JULIAN, WV – (January 21, 2010) Massey Energy (MEE) issued the following statement today in response to today’s press release from Climate Ground Zero regarding tree sitters at Coal River Mountain.

    Protestors, probably from out of state, are again putting themselves, coal miners and law enforcement personnel in danger by their illegal actions at Massey’s operation at Coal River Mountain. Their actions have not stopped operations at the site.

    Their claims, such as Coal River Mountain is “the last mountain around here that hasn’t been touched” and that the Brushy Fork Impoundment “currently contains 8.2 billion gallons” are entirely false. These activist groups know that the information they repeatedly state in the press is untruthful but they continue to deceive the public.

    For a better understanding of the facts, please review the attached Myth vs. Fact sheet.

    Massey Energy Company, headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, with operations in West Virginia, Kentucky and Virginia, is the largest coal producer in Central Appalachia and is included in the S&P 500 Index.


    Myths and Facts About Coal River Mountain

    MYTH: Mountaintop removal coal mining is taking place on Coal River Mountain.

    FACT: Massey Energy’s operation on Coal River Mountain is not a mountaintop removal mine. It is a contour mining operation with a highwall miner system and some point removals. Contour mining occurs at the seam level of coal in the mountain and the elevation of the area potentially suitable for a wind farm will not change.

    MYTH: Coal River Mountain is the last intact mountain in the Coal River Valley watershed.

    FACT: From Coal River Mountain, one can see the summits of a number of mountains. Opponents of coal who claim Coal River Mountain is the last intact mountain are lying and deliberately spreading this information in a desperate attempt to stop coal miners from working. (Check out Google Earth)

    This area of Coal River Mountain has been extensively mined – with underground and surface mining – for many years. Through its mining, Massey Energy will reclaim more than nine (9) miles of existing highwalls left from pre-law mining.

    MYTH: An industrial wind farm on the mountain could provide more jobs, tax revenues and electricity over the long term than a mountaintop removal operation.

    FACT: Massey Energy believes that a wind farm can still be built after mining operations have concluded if the wind farm is economically feasible. This is not coal jobs versus wind jobs. The mining can provide jobs now and wind farm investors can provide jobs following the mining.

    Massey Energy has repeatedly stated that the Coal River Mountain group has the opportunity to propose a commercially viable wind farm should they have investors. To date, the Coal River Mountain Group has not identified any investors interested in meeting with Massey to discuss building a wind farm on the property.

    FACT: The environmental groups know this is not a mountain top removal operation, they know that Coal River Mountain has been extensively mined by other companies, they know that both mining, followed by a wind farm would provide jobs, they know that they do not have any investors for their proposed wind farm, and they know that the information