Please join us in our efforts to get Congress to pass the Clean Water Protection Act and end mountaintop removal. You can learn more about the bill, and contact your Representative, by visiting ilovemountains.org. Here is a letter written to Rep. Corrine Brown by our own Jason Fults.
Representative Corrine Brown
2111 Rayburn HOB
Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Representative Brown,
My name is Jason Fults and I live in Gainesville. I am a Florida native, but attended college in Kentucky, where I first learned of the highly-destructive practice of mountaintop removal (MTR) coal mining. The apocalyptic images of MTR that I witnessed throughout the Appalachian region have stayed with me, and in 2011 I formed an organization called “Gainesville Loves Mountains” to help ensure that our community’s energy procurement doesn’t harm people in other communities that I love. Gainesville Regional Utilities (GRU) has, and continues to, burn coal that is mined using MTR. We believe that this practice is an atrocity against the planet, and against the residents of Appalachia, and that our community should not contribute to this atrocity through purchasing coal mined in this fashion.
We have engaged with GRU, the Gainesville City Commission, a variety of civic organizations, and hundreds of local citizens on this issue. We have also collected nearly 1,500 signatures on a petition to our City Commission calling on them to end GRU’s relationship with MTR coal. A few months ago, the Gainesville City Commission discussed our community’s connection to MTR. Gainesville Loves Mountains turned out dozens of citizens and our Commission voted unanimously to direct the City Attorney to draft a resolution condemning MTR “…and the resulting environmental, social and economic devastation incurred by such practices.” They are also considering an ordinance that would curtail any future purchases of MTR coal by our utility.
While we believe that end-use consumers of energy have a responsibility to minimize their impacts, and support Appalachian residents’ efforts to safeguard their own communities, it is clear that federal action will be required to fully end the destruction of MTR. As such, your constituents continue to call on your support for The Clean Water Protection Act (H.R. 1837). We believe that this bill will help to curtail the practice of MTR and protect the quality of life for Appalachian coalfield residents who face frequent catastrophic flooding, pollution, negative health consequences, and loss of drinking water as a result of this practice.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about our work or would like to further discuss the connections between north Florida and Appalachia and how our citizens can work together to end destructive energy practices such as mountaintop removal coal mining.
Thank you for your attention and we look forward to hearing from you on this issue,