The clean-up crews are slowly moving in to deal with the smoking craters and ecological detritus of the Bush years. The latest teams actress Ashley Judd with the Sierra Club
After her successful work in drawing attention to Sarah Palin’s aerial wolf hunting policies in Alaska, Judd, from Kentucky, and Sierra want the Obama Administration to step in and protect the mountains, streams and people of Appalachia from mountaintop removal.
Judd, 40, joined about 500 people at the state Capitol in Frankfort for legislation that would end the blasting away of mountaintops to unearth coal.The actress who was born in north-eastern Kentucky said she visited mountaintop removal sites last September and was unprepared for the destruction she saw. She described “barren moonscapes” and “nothingness” where Appalachian peaks once rose skyward.
According to the EPA, the damage is pretty large-scale. Close to 2,000 miles of streams have been contaminated or destroyed by mountaintop removal, and communities throughout the Appalachian region suffer from contaminated drinking water, increased flooding, and a decimated landscape. The Sierra Club is urging you to become involved by visiting their website and signing a letter to the Obama administration voicing your protest. The goal is 20,000 signatures.
To learn more about mountaintop removal, visit ilovemountains.org.
Judd, whose interest in yoga is also shared by Drew Barrymore, Madonna, Jennifer Aniston, Naomi Campbell, Julia Roberts, Charlize Theron, Jeff Bridges, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Nicholas Cage, recently spoke at a rally organized by Kentuckians For The Commonwealth. “I grew up in Kentucky, and like so many Appalachians, just seeing our beautiful mountains and valleys tells me I am home” she said. “Our mountains are our heritage and our legacy to future generations. But big coal companies are using explosives to literally blow the tops off the mountains, extract the coal and destroy Appalachia.”
Democratic state Sen. Kathy Stein of Lexington is sponsoring legislation that would bar coal companies from filling valleys with the soil and rock from the mountaintops.