-- End Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining

Congressman Rahall - we support mine safety improvements

Letter of support for Congressman Rahall: As a nationwide community of people supporting an end to mountaintop removal coal mining, we believe every American deserves a healthy place to live and work. We have long supported protections for Appalachian families and communities from the environmental, economic and emotional devastation wrought by mountaintop removal.

We also recognize that coal miners are an integral part of the fabric of those families and communities that were devastated by the recent tragedy at the Upper Big Branch mine in Raleigh County. Our nation's miners, who courageously go to work each day knowing that they are putting their lives in danger, deserve the strongest protections the law can provide.

In addition, Massey Energy, which has a well documented history of disregard for both safety and environmental laws, must be held accountable. Massey is not only the largest operator of mountaintop removal mines, but has an unacceptable record of serious safety violations at Upper Big Branch and many of the other mines they operate.

We agree with your recent statement that America has an obligation to "ensure that our coal miners have safe, healthy workplaces," and we appreciate your longstanding leadership in protecting the safety of our nation's miners.

As hearings and legislation to strengthen mine safety laws move forward in Congress, we will stand behind your efforts to protect miners and hold irresponsible mining companies accountable. We furthermore urge you to take a broad view in providing safety and security for everyone in the communities where coal is mined.

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Sign the letter supporting Congressman Rahall for his stance on miner safety.

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The community is saddened by the tragic loss of 29 courageous men in the recent mine disaster in West Virginia. We have fought for years to protect Appalachian communities from the devastation caused by mountaintop removal and we believe that protecting Appalachian communities also means ensuring the safety of miners.

Massey Energy's corner-cutting mentality led to unsafe working conditions at the Upper Big Branch Mine and other facilities. As the largest operator of mountaintop removal mines, and recipient of the largest penalty in the history of the Clean Water Act, Massey also has contributed to unsafe living conditions in communities near their mines. Protecting Appalachian communities and miners means holding companies like Massey responsible.

Congressman Nick Rahall, Chairman of the Natural Resources Committee and leading proponent of mine safety, recently said, "this mining catastrophe shows us that there is still much more that must be done to protect those who enter the mines each day working to support their families."

We agree with Congressman Rahall and support his efforts to strengthen the regulations that protect the safety of our nation's miners.

Please sign the letter of support to Congressman Rahall for his stance on miner safety.

Lorelei Scarbro, a community organizer with Coal River Mountain Watch, whose husband died of black lung and whose has family that works at the Upper Big Branch Mine, will hand deliver the letter of support to his office.