Back to

Mountains, Elections, and Lame Ducks

After last week's election, we've heard from many supporters who wonder what the results mean for our movement to end mountaintop removal coal mining.

While we are aware that Democrats will hand over the reins to Republicans on key committee positions in the House this Congress -- we also know that the effort to end mountaintop removal coal mining is gathering an historical force that rises above and beyond partisan politics.

That said, we wanted to share with you a great post that we came across from long-time mountaintop removal activist Mark Sumner, aka Devil's Tower over at Daily Kos. He shares a key insight on why it's beneficial for us to redouble our efforts right away:

With the election behind us and the prospect of the a more Republican legislature ahead, the lame duck session could be wasted in throwing out symbolic bills with no opportunity of passage, or in hand wringing over what might have been. Or it could be used to do something worthwhile, something lasting, something that will save lives, livelihoods, and communities. We can ennoble this brief session with an accomplishment that will literally outlast the nation.

We can end mountaintop removal…

There are already bills in both the House and the Senate to address this issue. The House bill is the Clean Water Protection Act (H.R. 1310). The Senate bill is the Appalachia Restoration Act (S. 696). Right now, the CWPA has 172 cosponsors in the current congress. In case you think this is one of those thousand page telephone book-sized bills laden with side issues and favors to individual districts, the whole bill [is less than 5 paragraphs long.]

Why do this now when the days of the lame duck session are both few and potentially precious? Because we can. Because the legislation is ready…

We can pass this quickly. We can have it behind it us. We can see that the mountains which have survived for geological ages, and the people who have held tight through hard times, are both given their chance to go into a future not shadowed by coming destruction.

Please, take a moment to read Mark's full post (

Then, take a moment to write your representatives and ask them to pass the Clean Water Protection Act (H.R. 1310) and the Appalachia Restoration Act (S. 696).

Thank you for everything you do.

to comment