Join Appalachian Leaders: Demand a Mountaintop Removal Moratorium Now
  • Petitioned Department of Health and Human Services

This petition was delivered to:

Secretary Sebelius
Department of Health and Human Services
Join Appalachian Leaders
Centers for Disease Control
Department of Justice
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs
Department of Health and Human Services
President of the United States

Join Appalachian Leaders: Demand a Mountaintop Removal Moratorium Now

    1. Jess Leber
    2. Petition by

      Jess Leber

      Washington, DC

"After a decade of endless education and media campaigns, conferences and workshops, lobbying, and appealing to our elected officials, we have reached a moment of no return. The spiraling health crises in the central Appalachian coalfields have reached a breaking point."

So goes a powerful plea from internationally acclaimed Appalachian coalfield leaders Maria Gunnoe, Bo Webb and Mickey McCoy released today by journalist and author Jeff Biggers.

This last straw came in reaction to a horrifying new study, by Dr. Michael Hendryx of West Virginia University. For the years 2000-2003, mothers who smoked during pregnancy had a 17% higher risk of a baby born with a birth defect (compared to mothers who didn’t smoke). For mothers living in mountaintop mining areas, the risk was 42% higher (compared to mothers who lived in non-mining areas). For babies born specifically with defects of the circulatory or respiratory system, smoking increased risk by 17%, and living in a mountaintop mining area increased risk by 181%.

In conclusion, the study found: Living in a mountaintop mining area was a bigger risk for birth defects than smoking.

And so Appalachian leaders are appealing not on their own behalf anymore. They have already spent a prolonged decade living among the lethal fallout of mining operations — to a completely insufficient response from environmental, health, and safety regulators at all levels. In fact, August 3rd will mark the 34th anniversary of the federal sanctioning of mountaintop removal mining by the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act, signed by President Carter.

The people of Appalachia are now appealing to the nation on behalf of their children. On behalf of their grandchildren too.

They are calling on everyone to join together and demand an immediate moratorium on all mountaintop removal mining operations until the federal government can study and mitigate this health and humanitarian crisis. They are appealing for an intervention, before the staggering human costs and mounting death toll —all for a mere 5-8% of the nation's coal—can be stopped.

Join them. Stand with Appalachia and tell President Obama, Department of Health and Human Services chief Kathleen Sebelius and Attorney General Eric Holder to enact an immediate moratorium on all mountaintop removal in until the Center for Disease Control and/or other federal regulatory agencies make a complete assessment of birth defects, cancer corridors, and other health impacts, and until the Department of Justice investigates criminal negligence connected to mountaintop removal mining.

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Reached 1,000 signatures
    2. The Appeal to Action also appears on The Huffington Post

      Jess Leber
      Petition Organizer

      The article is written by Jeff Biggers, a prominent journalist, book author and anti-coal activist.

    3. Reached 100 signatures
    4. Read Appalachian Leaders' Full Appeal to Action on Alternet

      Jess Leber
      Petition Organizer

      Jeff Biggers, acclaimed Appalachian coal journalist and activist, writes about this campaign.

    5. Reached 10 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • william henry CLINTON, PA
      • about 3 years ago

      They should have never been allowed to do this in the first place.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Margaret R HAZEL GREEN, AL
      • about 3 years ago

      I saw a special on this. It was frightening except to the people who were afraid of losing their jobs.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Sharon Fuentes PORTLAND, CT
      • about 3 years ago
      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Barbara Tomlinson SEATTLE, WA
      • about 3 years ago

      Stop and think whether the Capitali$t $y$tem for Profit$$$ is REALLY "the Best $y$tem in the Whole Wide World and in all of Human History".....????? Oh, well, believe whatever Ayn Rand and her followers tell you.....

      Greed is Good, Profit$$$ are up TREMENDOUSLY, we don't pay any Taxes to speak of, Ha Ha Ha on YOU as we saunter merrily all the way to the Bank... The Whole World just exists for U$$$$$$$$$$ and the huge unregulated Profit$$$ we can gouge out of the Earth and all its People...... WE can get away with it! Ha Ha Ha on YOU! Suckers! Losers! Commies if you object! Ungrateful Masses!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • mark oddi MERRITT ISLAND, FL
      • about 3 years ago

      Mountain top mining often opens up mine water run off polluting streams and lakes forever as the mine water can not be capped. Corrupt politicians want the huge corporations to rape the land, poison and kill people and leave the pollution for the taxpayers to clean up. It is the standard republican environmental policy- privatize the profits and make the public pay for the cleanup.

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