September 28th, 2010
01:05 AM ET
12 years ago

Protesters arrested outside the White House

(CNN) - More than 100 people protesting mountain-top removal coal mining were arrested Monday outside the White House for failing to obey an order to disperse, the U.S. Park Service said.

All 114 people arrested at the protest against mountain-top mining were later released pending a court date, according to the park service.

The protesters, most from the Appalachian coal-mining states, had a permit to gather in front of the White House, but some failed to follow rules set out in the permit, according to a park service spokesman.

The protest capped a three-day event called "Appalachia Rising" in the nation's capital. Residents of states in the coal mining region - West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee - first came together for a weekend conference called "Voices from the Mountains."

On Monday, organizers said, hundreds of people gathered at Freedom Plaza for a rally and march to the White House, where 114 people staged a sit-in. They were arrested when they refused to move.

"The science is clear, mountaintop removal destroys historic mountain ranges, poisons water supplies and pollutes the air with coal and rock dust," said climate scientist James Hansen, who was arrested at the White House. "Mountaintop removal, providing only a small fraction of our energy, can and should be abolished. The time for half measures and caving in to polluting
industries must end."

"I have talked, begged, debated, written letters to officials, published op-ed pieces in newspapers and lobbied on the state and federal level to end mountaintop removal," said Mickey McCoy, former mayor of Inez, Kentucky, who was also arrested. "Being arrested? That's such a small price to pay for being heard. My home and people are paying the real price for mountaintop removal. They are dying."

Mountain-top mining refers to a form of coal mining most common in the Appalachian Mountains of the eastern United States in which the peak or top of a mountain is removed.

The resulting degradation of the environment affects water sources such as streams, as well as animal and plant life in the area.

Filed under: Energy • Environmental policy • White House
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. the real ib

    These people are not telling the truth. I live here I know; the land is put back. My parents land was surface mined in the 1980's. After the mining was completed I saw more wildlife on the land than I ever did before. The water was not damaged I know since there was a well for drinking water and I drank the water. The book should be thrown at the people; they are disgusting.

    September 28, 2010 01:09 am at 1:09 am |
  2. Debbie from Arizona

    I find this this type of mining absolutely horrible. It destroys the whole area including the water. This should be stopped, but I'm certain the money hungry mining companies will have made huge contributions to our congressmen and congresswomen who will support this ongoing destruction.

    September 28, 2010 02:50 am at 2:50 am |
  3. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    They have a right to protest. They do have a point that the use of coal is and never will be clean. It will be less dirty. I would hope that we would direct our efforts to develop better renewables like solar and wind. We also need to develop fusion power as well as develop new fission power plants that can run on the waste created in the first go-around and the trans-uranic elements that are created during the reprocessing of spent fuel.

    September 28, 2010 03:40 am at 3:40 am |
  4. WV 4 Manchin

    I am from West Virginia and am opposed to Mountain Top mining. I voted for OBAMA but if something is not done then I think that voting them out is one way to solve the problem. The cap and trade bill must go.

    September 28, 2010 03:44 am at 3:44 am |
  5. Peter E

    Gasp! Obama arresting liberals while pandering to energy lobbyists? What a shocker! The ultra-liberal Obama that was supposed to destroy all of the energy industry and allow liberal activists to camp on his front yard? Wasn't that his agenda? (right after his continuation of EVERY Bush policy, from Bush's bank and Wall Street bailouts, through his continued hands-off approach to all corporations and the enregy industry, to Bush tax cuts)

    September 28, 2010 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  6. Scott

    Sounds like China or N. Korea, come out to protest, and the socicalist regime will have you arrested. Dear LEader Obama soicalist regime. Obama, Chavez, KIm of N Korea all peas in a POD.

    September 28, 2010 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |