Listen here, Lisa Jackson.
"No or very few valley fills that are going to be able to meet standards like this."
Blaring the EPA administrator's own words from last April's press conference
with her intent to end mountaintop removal mining valley fills on an
amplified soundtrack, five sit-in protesters are currently occupying
the lobby of the EPA's headquarters in Washington, DC.
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According to the Rainforest Action Network:
After entering the EPA building, activists sat down in the
center of the lobby, locked themselves together with metal 'lock
boxes,' and began to blast West Virginia's adopted state song, John
Denver's 'Take me Home, Country Roads,' with intermittent sounds of
Appalachia's mountains being blown apart by MTR explosives spliced into
the song. An additional activist has climbed to the top of the EPA
front door on Constitution Ave and is standing with a banner reading:
'Blowing up mountains for coal contaminates Appalachia's water, Stop
Despite Jackson's promise last April to enforce new guidance rules
to end the reckless process of mountaintop removal mining, the EPA
stunned coalfield residents and human rights and environmental
advocates across the nation last week with the announcement of their green light for a new mountaintop removal permit at Pine Creek in West Virginia.
"We're sitting down inside the EPA to demand the EPA stand up to
protect Appalachia's precious drinking water, historic mountains and
public health from the devastation of mountaintop removal," said Scott
Parkin of Rainforest Action Network, who participated in the sit-in.
"At issue here is not whether mountaintop removal mining is bad for the
environment or human health, because we know it is and the EPA has said
it is. At issue is whether President Obama's EPA will do something
about it. So far, it seems it is easier to poison Appalachia's drinking
water than to defy King Coal."
More updates on the sit-in will be posted later today. Here are some photos.