Confirmed victory
Petitioning Gainesville City Commission and 7 others

Gainesville, FL City Commission: End Gainesville Regional Utility's purchases of mountaintop removal coal

Mountaintop removal (MTR) is arguably the most devastating form of energy extraction our nation has yet encountered--and Gainesville, FL can help bring it to an end!  

To-date, MTR has permanently erased more than 500 peaks from the Appalachian mountains, buried or polluted more than 2,000 miles of pristine headwaters streams, and swept away more then 800 square miles of one of America’s most diverse and valuable ecosystems. The social, health, and economic toll on the region has been equally dire.

Our City Commission can end Gainesville's connection to MTR by asking GRU to avoid any future purchases of coal mined using this method.  Let's help make Gainesville an example of how communities can embrace a clean energy future! 

 

As a few of our friends in Appalachia have said:

“As a native West Virginian and 11th generation Appalachian, I have witnessed first hand the impacts of mountaintop removal on the health and heritage of the Appalachian people. Too many people are sick and dying because of MTR.  Please act! We are running out of time here and remember we all live downstream.”

-Dustin White.  Charleston, WV

 

“Coal companies have major influence over politicians in Kentucky. We need help from other states to stop this practice.”

-Jeanne Marie Hibberd.  Berea, KY

 

“We are sickened by the ever constant devastation of our homeland and we don't believe that we should have to suffer this kind of destruction to have a job...it is important to remember that with the decline of a finite resource and an eye toward a future economy, every time we blow up another mountain, we destroy yet another future economic development opportunity.”

-Kathy Selvage.  Wise, VA

Letter to
Gainesville City Commission
Gainesville Mayor Ed Braddy
Gainesville City Commission Lauren Poe
and 5 others
Gainesville City Commission Yvonne Hinson-Rawls
Gainesville City Commission Todd Chase
Gainesville City Commission Randy Wells
Gainesville City Commission Helen Warren
Gainesville City Commission Craig Carter
Please pledge your support to end Gainesville Regional Utility's (GRU) purchases of mountaintop removal (MTR) coal. The MTR process has been widely documented by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and others to wreak environmental havoc on any area where MTR occurs. In addition, Appalachian communities have cried out for help as their towns, homes and livelihoods struggle with the social and health impacts that occur when an MTR operation actually changes the landscape around them.

As a few of our friends in Appalachia have said:

“As a native West Virginian and 11th generation Appalachian, I have witnessed first hand the impacts of mountaintop removal on the health and heritage of the Appalachian people. Too many people are sick and dying because of MTR. Please act! We are running out of time here and remember we all live
downstream.”
-Dustin White. Charleston, WV

“Coal companies have major influence over politicians in Kentucky. We need help from other states to stop this practice.”
-Jeanne Marie Hibberd. Berea, KY

“We are sickened by the ever constant devastation of our homeland and we don't believe that we should have to suffer this kind of destruction to have a job...it is important to remember that with the decline of
a finite resource and an eye toward a future economy, every time we blow up another mountain, we destroy yet another future economic development opportunity.”
-Kathy Selvage. Wise, VA


Gainesville Loves Mountains believe in more than an “all of the above” approach to energy.  As our community diversifies our fuel supply and curbs wasteful consumption, an important end goal should be to eliminate the “worst of the worst” from our energy mix.

While we do not wish to ask GRU to play referee with regard to the environmental consequences of its energy choices, we believe that as its owners, and consumers of coal, the citizens of Gainesville have a right and a responsibility to assure that our energy consumption does not unduly harm other communities.  Hence we are asking the Commission to pass the ordinance being proposed by Commissioner Lauren Poe and end our community's relationship with MTR.

In recent years, GRU has been able to significantly reduce our consumption of MTR coal with no added expense to ratepayers and no disruption of services.  Yet they have made no commitment to continue this transition away from MTR coal, whereas we would like to see it formalized and solidified.  Commissioner Poe's proposed ordinance would require GRU to enact a policy which curtails future purchases of MTR coal without creating significant rate impacts on consumers.

We believe that passage of this ordinance would not harm GRU ratepayers, and would in fact reduce our community's negative ecological footprint and move us forward on the path towards sustainability.  This ordinance also sends an important message to the rest of the nation about people's collective ability to meet their needs without inflicting harm on the planet and its inhabitants.  While we are hopeful that the practice of MTR will eventually be banned altogether, communities such as ours can make an important contribution in the meantime by speaking out against this practice and refusing to fund it.

Thank you for considering Commissioner Poe's proposed ordinance and we hope that we can count on your support.