BREAKING NEWS: Activists Risk Arrest, Ascend Dragline to Stop Mountaintop Removal

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Thursday June 18th, 2009):

Big John Dragline

Hi-Res Photos, B-roll and Video will be available, www.mountainaction.org.

Activists Risk Arrest to Stop Mountaintop Removal

Activists scaled 20-storey tall mining machinery this morning to call attention to nation’s worst form of coal mining; This is the first time a dragline has been scaled on a mountaintop removal site

COAL RIVER VALLEY, W. VA.—Moments ago, four concerned citizens entered onto Massey Energy’s mountaintop removal mine site near Twilight WV and have begun to scale a150-foot dragline machine to drop a banner that says, ‘stop mountaintop removal mining.’ The climbers plan to stay on the enormous dragline, a massive piece of equipment that removes house-sized chunks of blasted rock and earth to expose coal, until police arrest them. Equipped with satellites phones and a web camera, the climbers will be available for interviews.

This is the first time a dragline has been scaled on a mountaintop removal site, and marks the latest in a string of increasingly dramatic protests in West Virginia by residents and allies from across the country. This act of protest against mountaintop removal comes just days after the Obama Administration announced a plan to reform, but not abolish, the aggressive strip mining practice. Continue reading