Posts Tagged ‘coal mine’

ntulogoTexas is a beautiful state – full of unique landscapes from the rocky desert of Big Bend to the colorful, rolling Hill Country. With that said, it is essential we remember that before settlers staked claim to this region of America, it was already sacred land to the Native Nations. It can be seen that modern industry has exploited this bountiful and revered land for its natural resources to build the current civilization. Few are guiltier of this than the coal industry whose mines completely decimate the land they are built upon.

For this reason and more, members of the Native People of the Americas and community allies have united in opposition against the Dos Republicas coal mine in the area near Eagle Pass, Texas. Since being proposed in 2012, the Dos Republicas coal mine has faced continuous criticism by concerned citizens of Eagle Pass and outcry in on the southern side of the border in Mexico.  Despite united and continued opposition from local residents and local governments, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and the Railroad Commission (RRC) granted Dos Republicas the permits needed to move forward with the mine.

Not only will this mine bring tremendous environmental damage on this sacred land, but it will also be used as the supplier of coal to be burned at plants in Mexico instead of the local energy grid. This is because the coal in this area is of such low quality that it can’t be burned in the United States. So this dirtiest of dirty coal will be shipped across the border and burned in plants with little or no air pollution controls. The subsequent pollution will harm local communities and blow across the border to impact Texans as well.

Projects such as these are last ditch efforts by the coal industry to remain profitable in an adapting energy market, and these attempts corner rural and native communities who will bear the burden of their desperation. Profit and energy aside, the extraction and production of coal puts neighboring communities at risk. The silt, pollution, and waste of such a mine all present toxic impacts to the region, which are especially relevant considering the rise of flooding in recent years.

With the climate crisis looming over us, as well as our right to live in a healthy and safe environment, it is entirely necessary to confront new coal mines head on.

A Native led rally and march to the Dos Republicas Coal Mine will be taking place this Saturday, April 16, 2016. For updates, go to the event page. Public Citizen stands in solidarity with their action and will continue to work towards a cleaner, more just Texas.

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Blasting on Coal River Mountain was halted due to a tree sit by three activists: Eric Blevins, 28, Amber Nitchman, 19, and David Aaron Smith, 23.  On standby at the trees’ base were the direct supporters Josh Graupera, 19, and Isabelle Rozendaal, 22. Associated with Climate Ground Zero and Mountain Justice, these activists are opposed to the devastating process of mountain top removal (MTR) going on at Coal River Mountain. Perched 60 feet in the air in tulip poplars and oak trees just a stone’s throw from the blasting site these activists risked their own well being in a direct action attempt to halt the exploitation of Appalachia.

Too often people talk about how terrible something is without any action behind their words. These individuals not only understand that MTR mining must be stopped, they are willing to risk their safety and liberty to non-violently bring its operations to a halt – if even for only a day. If every person in this country who was concerned about MTR mining followed their example it would be shut down forever.

The time is long past when we should have stopped using coal for fuel in general. That we are now destroying the second most biologically diverse ecosystem on the surface of the planet in order to allow companies like Massey to stay competitive with other coal mining companies is grossly obscene. These individuals should be commended by anyone who cares in the slightest about the health of our environment and the health of the general public – and as many people who can should join in their acts of non-violent civil disobedience.


By promoting cleaner energy, cleaner government, and cleaner air for all Texans, we hope to provide for a healthy place to live and prosper. We are Public Citizen Texas.

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