At 9 o’clock this morning, 13 young people entered the Department of Interior office building to demand that Secretary Ken Salazar bring an end to the Office of Surface Mining’s approval of mountaintop removal mining permits. Carrying a banner reading, “Appalachia is Rising, End Mountaintop Removal”, the 13 activists staged a sit-in in the building lobby and are currently refusing to leave until their demands are met.
Among their demands, the youth are asking Secretary Salazar to:
1. Research, review and revoke all existing and pending mountaintop removal mine permits through the Office of Surface Mining
2. Deny all future mountaintop removal mine permits requests that cross his desk
3. Approve land reclamation permits that require the seeding of native Appalachian plant life to begin the bioremediation process on all MTR sites currently undergoing reclamation. This will accomplish the pressing issue of restoring the region to its original state.
4. Work with mining companies and the Office of Surface Mining to secure employment for local residents in these reclamation efforts.
The action is being conducted in solidarity with Appalachia Rising, a mass mobilization to end mountaintop removal taking place in D.C. today.
PLEASE SUPPORT THIS ACTION NOW by calling Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar, 202 208 7351, and demanding that he hold true to his words spoken last Wednesday that “Every American deserves a healthy environment in which they can live, learn and play” and bring an end to mountaintop removal mining today.