The West Virginia Gazette is reporting that 14 people were given tickets today while protesting Massey Energy’s plans to blast apart Coal River Mountain in Southern West Virginia. Massey Energy has plans to mine at least 6,000 acres of the mountain, almost 10 square miles.
This morning, five activists chained themselves to bulldozers at a Massey Energy strip-mining operation in protest. A sixth person was also cited, even after identifying themselves to police as a member of the press. Another eight were cited after they delivered a letter to Massey Energy President Don Blankenship, but then refused to leave the Massey property.
The group, who call themselves “Climate Ground Zero and Appalachian Mountain Justice” and have who run the Coal River Wind Project campaign, are attempting to stop Massey’s mountaintop removal plans. The group hopes that a wind farm would be put at the site instead.
At the mining site, the activists hung one banner that said, “Windmills, Not Toxic Spills” and attached windmill blades to an excavator at the Massey operation.
“They shouldn’t allow the wind potential on Coal River Mountain to be destroyed, and the nearby communities endangered, for only 17 years of coal,” activist Rory McIlmoil said. “There is a better way to develop the mountain and strengthen the local economy that will create lasting jobs and tax revenues for this county, and that’s with wind power.”