Kentucky Sit In

Important events in Kentucky today as a group of protesters including Wendell Berry have staged a sit in at the Kentucky governor’s office today to draw attention to mountain top removal and clean water policies in that state. A very important issue and deserving of support given the lasting ecological damage caused by these policies and the immediate health concerns for those living in these water sheds. I’ll be trying to post updates on this throughout the day.

After the dramatic events in Egypt today, here’s hoping that we continue to see the power of peaceful protest to instigate change.

Links:

Jeff Biggers at Huffington Post

Kentuckians for the Commonwealth (They are supposed to have live video from the sit in though I’m unable to access it. I think this has more to do with my internet connection right now than anything with the KTFC website.)

Live tweeting: @jasonkylehoward and @kftc

Update 1: As Jeff Biggers has reported that the sit in is turning into a sleepover. More updated from Biggers at the Huffington Post link above.

The Last Mountain

This trailer for The Last Mountain, which is playing at Sundance this year, just got on my radar. Many thoughts and I’ll come back to a post on this later, but I wanted to at least put the trailer up. The official site for the film can be found here.

Upper Big Branch Mine Blast News Coverage 4/9

From the New York Times we get a compelling description of the economic bind that coal miners find themselves trapped in.

Jason Linkins has a post at Huffington Post covering Blankenship and Massey Energy’s problems with safety regulations.  Linkins provides a number of links that I haven’t been able to follow up on yet.

Huffington Post is also fund-raising money for their investigative fund to explore mining tragedies.

Upper Big Branch Mine Blast News Coverage

I’m continuing to collect news and internet coverage of the mining tragedy at the Upper Big Branch Mine in Montcoal West Virginia.  Due to time constraints I’m playing catch up on some of these posts and they rightfully belong in yesterday’s post.  I’ll try to distinguish these in my links.

New York Times story for 4/7.

A background story about mine safety regulation and Massey Energy Co. Ceo Don Blankenship.

Some posts from the blog Daily Kos about mining and Blankenship:

On safety violations at Massey Energy Co. mines.

About air circulation and construction in mines and the damning nature of memos from Blankenship.

Some statistics about mine safety and unions.

CNN reports on improving air quality in the mine and the likelihood of rescue operations recommencing.

25 dead and 4 missing after coal mine explosion in Montcoal West Virginia

I will be keeping a running log of news stories related to this tragedy in this post and following it up with subsequent posts examining the tragedy and the press and national reaction to it.  Right now though our obvious thoughts should be for the missing miners and all of the families struggling through this.

New York Times

Associated Press

BBC

CNN

President Obama speaks about the tragedy via CNN

West Virginia Gov. Manchin interview via CNN

Massy Energy Co. Safety Violations via the AP and Huffington Post (This is also an update of the previous AP news story link.)

ABC News reports on Massey Energy Co. Safety Violations and the questionable relationship between Massey CEO Don Blankenship and West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Brent Benjamin. Video of confrontation between ABC reporters and Blankenship included.

Video of press conferences about tragedy via New York Times.

A brief bio of one of the victims of the explosion via New York Times.

CNN reports on Massey Energy Co.’s safety record.

Not news, but Boing Boing has a q&a with Christopher Bise, chair of West Virginia University’s Mining Engineering department, about methane in mines.  The comments are intriguing thanks to their range and for the dialogue it raises between those who are local to mining regions and aware of its history and those who believe the positivist story of American mining history.