In late April a coalition of environmental groups went to downtown Richmond, Va., to deliver a mile-long petition to Dominion Power, asking them not to build a new coal-fired power plant in Wise County. Playing live tunes in the background of the event was Trees on Fire, a young Charlottesville-based band that is gaining popularity for its earthy brand of roots rock and electronic grooves—a sound it likes to call organica. The band is also gaining recognition as a group that cares about the environment. The band has been hosting benefits to raise awareness about the devastating practice of mountaintop removal mining. “We were shocked when we learned about this,” says drummer Paul Rosner. “I had heard the term strip mining, but I didn’t understand what it was until I saw it firsthand.”
The band has done more than just provide the soundtrack for the movement. In January they actually went down to a State Corporation Commission hearing to voice disapproval of the new plant. In the near future they plan to release some music videos that expose strip mining.
“We’ll continue to use our music in this fight,” says Rosner.