Public Hearings for Electric Rate Hikes


Oct 8, 2018

Appalachian Power Company and Wheeling Power Company have applied to raise residential and commercial electric rates by more than 11%. WV Public Service Commission is holding public hearings for citizen comments beginning Oct. 9 in Princeton.  APC/WPC say they need the increase in large part because residential consumption has decreased 14% and the number of residential customers has dropped by 11,000 since 2013. Citizens should not be penalized for reducing their usage. Government agencies placing corporate profit over citizens’ well-being is one of the reasons for people leaving West Virginia to begin with. You can attend a hearing in person or you can comment directly here at http://www.psc.state.wv.us/Scripts/OnlineComments/formalDisclaimer.cfm. Enter Case Number 18-0646-E-42T and select “Protest” for Comment Type. Public hearings begin Oct. 9 in Princeton and Oct. 11 in Beckley. Read more for more details and hearing dates and locations.

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Eagle 2 Mountaintop Removal Update


Sep 12, 2018

The 2,040-acre Eagle 2 mountaintop removal site on Coal River Mountain continues to receive special treatment from the WV Dept. of Environmental “Protection” in spite of having no valid permit. On Sept. 9, the WVDEP “reviewed and accepted the Annual Blasting Advertisement” for the site, even though the permit should have terminated by law in 2011 for not starting within three years.  In 2012, the federal Office of Surface Mining, Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) upheld the WVDEP’s retroactive extension of the permit, and just recently, after years of litigation and foot-dragging, reaffirmed that decision. However, subsequent extensions and renewals are questionable, and the WVDEP has routinely granted them. OSMRE questions the validity of those further extensions, but has yet to take action compelling WVDEP to justify them. Now, even if the permit were valid, it expired June 6. The only document mentioning an extension of the renewal is a July 18 inspection report noting that the permit renewal is being reviewed and extended to August 5.  While the company began destroying 25 acres of the site in March, they can do no more timbering until November because the endangered Indiana bat roosts in the forest.

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Voices for Appalachia - A Portrait-Story Project - Displayed at the Judy Bonds Center


Aug 19, 2018

"Voices for Appalachia - A Portrait-Story Project - Written and Narrated by Hundreds is on display in its home at the Judy Bonds Center for Appalachian Preservation. There's a good chance that you or someone you know is included in the collection of over 500 stories, written by hand by the portrait subjects, from 2007-2009. Judy Bonds' story is at page 85. Contact us at coalriver@crmw.net to arrange a visit or bring a group to learn this important history in the words of people who lived and are living it. You can go to https://www.flickr.com/photos/143846974@N07/albums to see the portrait-stories online. And if you're able, please support the Judy Bonds Center with a tax-deductible donation at https://secure.givelively.org/donate/coal-river-mountain-watch/judy-bonds-center-for-appalachian-preservation-2018. Thank you!

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6th Annual Peachtree Falls Cleanup


Jul 31, 2018

Coal River Mountain Watch's Tadpole Project had a busy month, culminating with the 6th annual Peachtree Falls cleanup on July 28. Staff and volunteers picked up trash and junk from the mouth of Peachtree Creek up to the falls, with a good time enjoying this local treasure. Thanks to the volunteers and the CREEK kids who make a difference to improve our community! And special thanks to Erin at Active Southern West Virginia who pitched in and helped promote this annual community event!  Please chip in to sponsor the Tadpole Project at https://secure.givelively.org/donate/coal-river-mountain-watch/tadpole-project. Thanks!  (Click "read more" to see more photos)

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CRMW Testimony at Congressional Coal Hearing


Jul 25, 2018

Coal River Mountain Watch Executive Director Vernon Haltom testified at the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources congressional oversight hearing titled “Assessing Innovative and Alternative Uses of Coal” on July 24, 2018. The full hearing, with questions and answers, is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jgbSv63k6Lg. The other witnesses seemed to be lobbying for weaker regulations or pitching their companies for government subsidies (corporate welfare). They were: Mr. Michael Klein, VP, Lighthouse Resources, South Jordan, UT; Mr. Julian McIntyre, Founder and CEO, Arq, London, United Kingdom; Mr. Randall Atkins, CEO, Ramaco Carbon, Sheridan, WY. Vernon’s oral testimony was shorter than the written testimony, edited for time. It also had a few details not included in the written testimony, such as the 25-year high in black lung cases and names of friends and family who’ve died of mountaintop removal-related diseases: Judy Bonds, Joanne Webb, Larry Gibson, Carol Judy, and Vickie Terry. Here’s a quote: “Whether it’s coal to Asia, coal waste to oil, coal to plastics, or coal to rainbows and unicorns, that coal is mined from the bones and the lungs of people who can never be fairly compensated for their injuries or their lives.” Here’s Vernon’s written testimony as submitted.

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Coal River Mountain Watch Program Summary


Jul 7, 2018

Coal River Mountain Watch’s mission is to stop the destruction of our communities and environment by mountaintop removal mining (MTR), to improve the quality of life in our area, and to help rebuild sustainable communities.  Projects and programs:

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Tadpole Project Update, Pitch in This Monday


Jun 30, 2018

This Monday, July 2, pitch in with the Tadpole Project to clean up at Mandy Bone Hill Bridge from 10-2. Snacks and drinks will be provided. Staff and volunteers, including Coal River Environmental Education for Kids (CREEK) participants, have had a busy June with cleanup days on the 12th, 18th, and 20th (West Virginia Day). If you’d like to pitch in as a Tadpole Project volunteer, you can contact us here, or you can see upcoming cleanup days by following the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Tadpole-Project-154755687892030/. And if you can help support the heavy lifting of tires and organizing volunteers and kids with a much-needed $25 donation at https://secure.givelively.org/donate/coal-river-mountain-watch/tadpole-project, that would be pretty awesome.

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