Protester Says Beshear Will Visit Eastern Kentucky Coal Fields After Sit-In

by Gabe Bullard on February 14, 2011

Kentucky Public Radio’s Dan Conti contributed to this report

Many of the 14 protesters who spent the weekend in Governor Steve Beshear’s office left their sit-in today to join the annual “I Love Mountains Day” rally.

The sit-in began Friday as an effort to convince Governor Steve Beshear to change his stance on the surface mining technique commonly called mountaintop removal, which can leave streams clogged and polluted.

Beshear met with the demonstrators Friday. Protester and Morehead State University Professor John Hennen says the two sides did not come to an agreement, but the governor did make a concession.

“He heard some of our concerns and consented to come and visit some of the coal fields and meet with coal residents in eastern Kentucky whose lives and properties have been directly damaged,” he says.

Beshear told the protestors Friday he wants to find a way to responsibly mine coal.

The demonstrators are also supporting legislation that would block mining companies from putting waste in mountain waterways. The legislation has failed to gain traction in the General Assembly for the last several sessions.

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{ 1 comment }

Dea Riley February 15, 2011 at 9:21 am

A Governor should not be forced to “consent” via protest to visit the residents of the citizens in which he represents. When one observes the total Kentucky budget taxpayers contribute the largest amount of money to the whole than any other sing entity, including the Coal industry and that fact warrants they enjoy the largest piece of pie in any relevant discussion on the matter.

Elected officials should not serve in their capacity as lobbyist for any one industry, regardless of the campaign contributions given them. They’re paychecks are funded by the people and they are in essence working for the people and should act accordingly.

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