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Robert F. Kennedy, Jr: The Last Mountain [View All]

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Shireling Donating Member (222 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-27-11 04:00 PM
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Robert F. Kennedy, Jr: The Last Mountain
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The Fight over Coal Mining is a Fight About Democracy: New Documentary with Robert Kennedy, Jr. Chronicles Campaign to Halt Mountaintop Removal

(Democracy Now!)

(snip):

BILL HANEY: Well, The Last Mountain is a film about the fight for the last great mountain in Central Appalachia between the mining company Massey, that wants to blow it up and strip the coal inside, and the locals, who want to stop them and build a wind farm on top instead. And its a story about citizen democracy. Its about the extraordinary group of, you know, waitresses and former Marines and former coal miners, who have come together and enlisted the help of folks like Bobby Kennedy, Jr., to try to fight for their rights. And its a story about the future of energy, because the ugly paw of the coal industry lies heavy upon our political system and on our environment. So thats why we called it The Last Mountain, because theyve already knocked down, with explosives the size of a Hiroshima bomb being dropped on Appalachia every weektheyve already taken 500 of these mountains down to rubble and dumped the residuals into the rivers, contaminating 2,000 miles of federal river, and theres not much left.

(snip):

ROBERT F. KENNEDY, JR.: Ive been involved in the industry, in the coal industry in West Virginia, on and off for 27 years. I was invited down about three or four years ago by the local group at Coal Mountain to help them in their battle to save this last mountain, as Bill says.

Massey Coal is the third largest coal company in the country, but it is by far the biggest practitioner of mountaintop removal mining. Over the past decade, they have leveled an area of the Appalachians the size of Delaware, 1.4 million acres. Theyve cut down 500 of the biggest mountains in the state. And theyve buried, as Bill said, thousands of miles of rivers and streams.

They have to break the law to do this. They cannot survive in the marketplace without violating the law. They violate labor laws. They violate health and safety laws. And by their own records, theyve had some 67,000 violations of just one of the environmental statutes. But theyre in violation of many, many other environmental statutes. Last year, I debated Don Blankenship in West Virginia in front of a statewide audience, a televised debate. And I asked him during the debate, "Is it possible for you to do your job without breaking the law?" And he said, "No, it is not." So this is a criminal enterprise, even by his own estimation.


http://democracynow.org/blog/2011/5/24/the_fight_over_c...
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