The Rainforest Action Network (RAN) was founded in 1985. Its activists have been referred to as “some of the most savvy environmental agitators in the business” by the Wall Street Journal. Due to its environmentally educated and focused approach, it has achieved some great successes.
The organization has even had great success with banking giants such as Chase Manhattan and Goldman Sachs. RAN got Chase to implement “a comprehensive environmental policy that takes significant steps forward on climate change, forest protection, and Indigenous rights.” In 2005, Golman Sachs became “the first global investment bank to adopt a comprehensive environmental policy, calling for urgent action by public policy makers and regulators to reduce greenhouse gas emissions” largely due to the work RAN did with it.
RAN’s tactics, such as mountain report cards (used as one of their non-violent, yet highly visible forms of protest) have promoted progressive change in a meaningful way.
RAN Dumps Coal Waste on EPA’s Doorstep
In RAN’s most recent and visible effort to stop the damage in our country’s precious Appalachia areas, RAN activists brought a truckload of coal waste to the front yard of the EPA and dumped it there yesterday, Sept.13th. This small demonstration (as simple nonviolent metaphor) to bring more attention and light to a major and very real issue — how dramatically we are all being affected by the damage and loss of the 300-million-year-old mountain tops, so precious to our Eastern American community, which are blown off to get a little more coal for our unsustainable energy generation habits.
In particular, the action was focused on a specific mine in West Virginia. Beth Buczynski of Care2 writes:
Their actions were part of a creative demonstration intended to compel the agency to veto the 2,278-acre Spruce mountaintop removal mine project in Blair, W.Va.
In an effort to demonstrate the impact of the Spruce mine—the largest mountaintop mine project ever proposed—activists dumped 1,000 pounds of earth and rubble brought all the way from Appalachia. Their message was clear: “EPA: don’t let King Coal dump on Appalachia.”
Our natural wonderland, hiking trails, and simple human life in this part of the country is beset with horror due to the removal of the mountaintops. What we should be able to take for granted, simple rights of humanity such as clean water and livable places, is the real issue that RAN is addressing with this metaphor.
Enough is enough is enough. Will this help the horrible conditions of the locals in this area to have human rights restored and the mountaintops saved for the rest of us to revel in?
Help RAN Put the Pressure on the EPA
What does RAN want from us? To help their efforts along, you can: Dial up the EPA and say “Lisa, Veto Spruce Mine!” Dial 202-564-4700 and ask to speak with Administrator Jackson. Be kind and courteous and thank whoever you talk to for their time.
It is difficult to fathom, that with all the positive change in reformation in our country that atrocities such as this still are in the works. I see this as a plea for the rest of us to understand that this metaphor is not a fit of drama, but an effort to evoke support today to help these struggling mountain communities and keep Appalachia free from more destruction.
Appreciate the message within the drama of the dumping on the EPA front lawn. It’s about time the waterways in Appalachia are freed of toxic debris.
Encourage the EPA to hold true to its name claiming protection of our country, not protecting destruction. It is about time for positive action from the EPA.