For Immediate Release March 4, 2009
Contact: Oliver Bernstein, 512.477.2152
Film Star Ashley Judd Urges Action on Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining
Kentucky Native Joins Sierra Club to Ask Obama Administration to End the Destruction
Washington, D.C. Film star Ashley Judd has teamed up with the Sierra Club to help stop mountaintop removal coal mining. With a new personal letter, video and online “take-action,” Ashley Judd is asking the Obama Administration to step in and protect the mountains, streams and people of Appalachia.
“I grew up in Eastern Kentucky, and like so many Appalachians, just seeing our beautiful mountains and valleys tells me I am home,” says Judd in the letter. “Our mountains are our heritage and our legacy to future generations. But big coal companies are using explosives to literally blow the tops off the mountains, extract the coal and destroy Appalachia.”
The online campaign features a video of Ashley Judd and scenes of mountaintop removal coal mining, along with pictures, fact sheets and a link to contact the Obama Administration. On the special Web site http://action.sierraclub.org/mountaintop people can see the message from Ashley and ask the White House Council on Environmental Quality and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to freeze the permitting of any new mines. Action-takers can also request that the EPA provide long-term protection for the waterways and communities of Appalachia by initiating a rulemaking process to prevent the use of mining waste as fill material.
Judd has seen firsthand the annihilation of Appalachian communities where mountaintops have been blasted off and the waste dumped into rivers and valleys. The Sierra Club the nation’s oldest, largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization has been working with communities on the ground in Appalachia to help end this destructive practice.
According to Carl Pope, Sierra Club’s Executive Director, “We are so proud to work with Ashley Judd to raise awareness of this most destructive form of coal mining and of the steps that people can take to protect streams and communities. This is a crucial time in the fight against mountaintop removal coal mining, and Ashley Judd has been a true leader on this issue.”
EPA estimates that, to date, close to 2,000 miles of streams have been contaminated or destroyed by mountaintop removal, and communities throughout the Appalachian region suffer daily from contaminated drinking water, increased flooding, and a decimated landscape.