Maria Gunnoe Speaks Up for Families Affected by Mountaintop Removal at Hearing

September 30, 2011

The House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources recently hosted a hearing in West Virginia to discuss the impact of coal mining regulations in Appalachia. While floor time was dominated by political supporters of the coal mining industry, environmental activists Maria Gunnoe and Bo Webb got a chance to represent the real voices of families who have to live with mountaintop removal coal mining every day.

Here’s a video of Maria’s testimony:

Maria Gunnoe testifies at Congressional hearing from jordan freeman on Vimeo.

As pointed out by NRDC’s Melissa Waage at the NRDC  and Jeff Biggers on Huffington Post and AlterNet, the subcommittee scrubbed out their testimonies in its press release about the event. The committee chairs chose to end the hearing without any questions for Gunnoe and Webb, drawing jeers of “shame on you” from the audience.

Gunnoe, a 2009 Goldman Prize recipient, has been actively speaking out for communities affected by mountaintop removal coal mining, releasing studies about the impact of this destructive practice on local families’ health. She recently called out Catholic church to stand up for these families in an op-ed in the Charleston Gazette.