Jeff Biggers

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Friday, June 05, 2009
Rep. Hechler to President Obama: Time for a Harry S. Truman Moment in the Coalfields
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Martin Luther King, Jr. Letter from Birmingham Jail, 1963 Last month, as protestors from around the country converged in the Coal River Valley in West Virginia to protest Massey Energy's reckless mountaintop removal blasting operations within a short distance of a 7-billion gallon coal sludge impoundment, their ranks included 94-year-old former US Representative Ken Hechler.
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Tuesday, May 26, 2009
New York is Burning
When the marquee signs on Broadway light up, a signal will most likely be sent from the New York Independent System Operator grid to the Lovett coal-fired plant, where the facility service will shovel in coal strip-mined from West Virginia mountains that have been clear cut, detonated with tons of explosives and toppled into the valleys.
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Monday, May 25, 2009
Raising the Dead: Memorial Day Activists Jailed in Protest to Stop 998 Coal Sludge Deaths
In three separate direct actions in the West Virginia coalfields on Saturday, nonviolent protesters launched the new phase of Operation Appalachian Spring, a growing national campaign to stop mountaintop removal mining and raise awareness of the catastrophic potential of government regulated blasting near a precarious coal sludge impoundment.
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Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Dear Mr. President: Declare August 3rd as Armistice Day in the Appalachian Coalfields
On the upcoming anniversary of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act, President Barack Obama has the opportunity to declare an armistice in the polarized Appalachian coalfields, mend a 30-year mining policy of betrayal, and call an end to the most divisive and egregious human rights and environmental violation sanctioned by our federal government. On August 3rd, the President should keep his campaign promise, travel to Appalachia and publicly announce a timeline on when his administration plans to formally end mountaintop removal operations.
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Thursday, April 30, 2009
Mr. King Coal's Neighborhood: Washington DC, Won't You Be My Neighbor?
What does a Wyoming rancher, a Navajo elder, a Southern community organizer, a Latino immigrant organizer from Chicago, a young indigenous Ottawa woman from Michigan, and an Appalachian coal miner's widow have in common?
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Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Obama's First 100 Days of Coal: A Few Honest Words, Please
If you're going to lead my country, If you're gonna say it's free I'm gonna need a little honesty Just a few honest words -Ben Sollee, "A Few Honest Words" With those proverbial first 100 days coming to a close, here are ten moments--some good, some confusing, some hair-raising--in the short swift time of coal in the Obama administration's new era of "clean, renewable energy that will lead the 21st century."
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Wednesday, April 08, 2009
Where's the National Outrage on Blair Mountain?
When Walmart recently announced its intention to build a super-center near the Wilderness Battlefield in Virginia, filmmaker Ken Burns and a host of Pulitzer Prize-winning historians denounced the move for its obvious offense to our national heritage site. We need that same outrage for another battlefield under assault.
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Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Big Coal Defeat! Rednecks and Greens Announce Victory at Blair Mountain
After 500 mountains in Appalachia have been blown to bits by mountaintop removal, one peak was most likely saved today: Blair Mountain in West Virginia, the site of the largest armed insurrection in the United States since the Civil War, was officially approved by the Keeper of the National Register of Historic Places to be placed on the National Register. This is a huge victory, as the tide continues to turn in the movement to stop mountaintop removal in Appalachia.
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Monday, March 02, 2009
Dirty Coal Has Left the Building
The great snow storm has passed. The clouds are parting. The sun is breaking through. Those tiny ripples of hope, that Robert Kennedy once invoked, are beginning to gather near Capitol Hill. The Capitol Power Plant: It was built at the same time the first Ford Model T cars rolled onto the streets. A century later, the Capitol plant will finally end its use of coal in the age of the iPhone and Blackberry.
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