Kathy Mattea and Sierra Club join forces

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Friday May 25, 2007

Country Music Star Kathy Mattea, Sierra Club Join Forces;
Aerial Tour and Press Conference to Oppose Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining

CHARLESTON, WV Grammy-award winning country music star Kathy Mattea returns to her native West Virginia on Tuesday, July 10, 2007, to view the devastation caused by mountaintop removal coal mining and to fight the destructive practice. Sierra Club Vice President for Conservation Robin Mann will join Mattea and community leaders on an aerial tour of the coalfields near Charleston and then visit with residents on Kayford Mountain, West Virginia.

Mountaintop removal is a violent form of coal mining where large sections of mountains are blown off in order to expose the coal. This practice has impacted hundreds of thousands of acres across Appalachia. In the process, rocks and wastes have dammed streams and rivers, flooded long-time residences and ruined people’s livelihoods.

Mattea’s grandfathers were coal miners, and her upcoming album draws on the musical influences of Appalachia’s coal history. An outspoken opponent of coal mining’s destruction and a brilliant singer-songwriter, Mattea supports the Sierra Club’s efforts to stop mountaintop removal mining.

The Sierra Club is pleased to announce its continuing relationship with Evening Star Productions on a new documentary, THIS IS COAL. The film will show how coal, especially mountaintop removal mining, has affected the land and people of Appalachia. It will chronicle a major environmental, social and economic struggle from the inside. Through personal stories, the film, book, CD and Web site project will explore the ongoing conflict between people concerned with the environmental and cultural cost of mountaintop removal and those, some in their own families, who insist they need the jobs it provides. The Sierra Club previously partnered with Evening Star Productions on the 3-hour PBS series, The Appalachians.

With 1.3 million members and supporters, the Sierra Club is the oldest and largest environmental organization in the United States.