Fourteen Coal River Mountain activists were arrested and charged with trespassing after chaining themselves to a bulldozer and a backhoe at a Massey Energy mountaintop-removal mine site in February. Eight additional activists were arrested at the protest, including several leaders of the movement against mountaintop removal—among them Julia Bonds, Larry Gibson, and Vernon Haltom. Activists and local citizens fear that blasting for the proposed mountaintop removal site, which rests beside a six-billion-gallon toxic coal waste sludge dam above underground mines, could be catastrophic for the communities downstream. Citizens and activists overwhelmingly support a wind farm at the site, which would provide more long-term jobs and energy than mountaintop removal mining.
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