Conservationists try varied tactics to ban practice Conservationists supporting a bill to prohibit mountaintop removal in Tennessee are launching a second round of television ads, but this time photos of ridges in Tennessee that have been blown off are included.
More from Anne Paine’s report:
The first ad that the Tennessee Conservation Voters launched showed pictures from other states. Opponents of the bill, called the Tennessee Scenic Vistas Act, had slammed the campaign as deceptive, saying that mountaintop removal doesn’t happen in the Volunteer State. Any ridges sheared off are replaced as much as possible to the original contours, they countered.
Relatively little coal mining is done in Tennessee compared with other states, including Kentucky and West Virginia. The legislation, House Bill 0291, is on today’s agenda of the House Conservation Subcommittee.
…. The companion bill in the Senate was amended in a way that supporters said gutted it, so that little if any change would occur in current mountaintop mining practices. That one, Senate Bill 0577, is on the agenda to be heard by the full Senate on Monday. The issue is the focus of a wide coalition of conservation, environmental and church groups.
Note: TCV’s news release on the ads is below.
News release from Tennessee Conservation Voters:
Tennessee Conservation Voters, a non-partisan conservation organization committed to voter education, advocacy and holding elected officials accountable for safeguarding Tennessee’s environment, announced today the launch of a second statewide television ad focused on the destructive practice of mountaintop removal coal mining. The ad supports a broad-based effort to pass the Tennessee Scenic Vistas Protection Act, a bill that would only ban the process of mountaintop removal mining on peaks above 2000 feet in Tennessee.
The new ad responds to claims that mountaintop removal mining is not happening in Tennessee. The 30-second television spot opens by listing TN mountains that have already been destroyed and those permitted for destruction. The ad features aerial images of King Mountain, Windrock Mountain and Zeb Mountain and points out how “the coal industry and some politicians want you to think it’s [mountaintop removal mining] not happening here.” The spot closes with a picture of a topless Zeb Mountain and says, “well….it is.”
The ad will begin airing statewide this week. The bill will be heard in the House Conservation and Environment Subcommittee on Tuesday, March 27 at 10:30 am.
Facts About Mining in Tennessee
Tennessee produces less than 0.1 percent of America’s coal. Tennessee coal is high in sulfur content and contained in narrow seams, which makes it more expensive and less desirable to utilities. TVA purchases less than 1 percent of its coal from Tennessee. In 2009, considering all revenues and expenses, the coal industry presented a loss of approximately $3 million to the state budget. Since 1985, the mining industry has eliminated 85 percent of its own workforce.
About Tennessee Conservations Voters
Tennessee Conservation Voters (TCV) is a statewide coalition of 24 organizations dedicated to preserving Tennessee’s rich natural heritage. TCV is a non-partisan conservation organization committed to raising voter awareness, advocating effective laws and holding elected officials accountable for protecting our environment. Over the past five years, TCV and its member organizations have advocated for the Tennessee Scenic Vistas Protection Act, SB 577/HB291, a bill that would end the destructive practice of mountaintop removal coal mining (MTR) on peaks above 2000 feet elevation. For more information visit www.tnconservationvoters.org.