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

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.