SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced it will hold dozens of mountaintop removal permits for further review. Following is a statement by Michael Brune, Executive Director of Rainforest Action Network (RAN):
“Today was a moment of truth for the EPA. By recognizing the irreversible destruction caused by mountaintop removal coal mining, the EPA has taken an important stand in support of the people and ecosystems of Appalachia. The agency seems to recognize that there is no environmentally safe way to demolish mountains.
“Hopefully the Administration sees that the risks to health and environment from blowing up mountains are not worth the 7% of coal we get from mountaintop removal mining.
“While the EPA took an important step today by holding dozens of mountaintop mining permits, this is only a temporary step. Congress has the power to stop this tragic practice by a swift passage of the Appalachia Restoration Act. Otherwise, Congress risks being complicit in sacrificing hundreds of miles of streams, 60,000 acres of diverse hardwood forests and the health of Appalachian communities.”
Rainforest Action Network runs hard-hitting campaigns to break North America’s fossil fuels addiction, protect endangered forests and Indigenous rights, and stop destructive investments around the world through education, grassroots organizing, and non-violent direct action. For more information, please visit: www.ran.org