Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Tennessee Legislators: Do the Right Thing

Thanks to the Johnson City Press for printing my letter Sunday:
Mountaintop mining

There is a grave injustice in our land. Its name is mountaintop removal strip mining. Five hundred mountains have had their tops blown off and the rubble disposed into streams. Forests are destroyed. Habitats are destroyed. Streams are polluted. Human lives are ruined.

It leaves devastation and poverty in its wake as well as fat profits for coal companies. It is coming to Tennessee unless our legislators act now.

This is not a jobs vs. environment issue. This destructive mining practice has reduced the number of mining jobs. This is not an economy vs. the environment issue. Our economy thrives on the natural beauty of our mountains and the industries that benefit from them such as tourism, hunting, and fishing. Some of the poorest counties in our nation are those with mountaintop removal strip mining. Mountaintop removal benefits the profits of outside coal companies. That’s it.

This is not merely an environmental issue. This is a moral issue. This is an issue of right and wrong regarding our descendants and stewardship of creation. This current generation has no right to destroy these mountains for short-term gain and for profit. Blowing off the tops of our mountains is not economically viable. It is not energy sustainable. It is not environmentally responsible. Mountaintop removal strip mining destroys lives, habitats, homes and leaves your grandchildren and mine with desolation.

The majority of Tennesseans do not want our mountaintops destroyed for coal. I call on our senators and representatives each to examine his or her moral compass.

You know this is wrong. Do the right thing.

THE REV. JOHN SHUCK
First Presbyterian Church
Elizabethton

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