|Sent on:||Sunday, July 22, 2012 8:28 PM|
Dear Sierra Club Members,
Below is information about an important bill for which I recommend writing a letter to your House Representative. If you do not know whom your representative is, you can find out at the following web site using your zip code: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/
Your representative will have a web site on which you can submit a message to him or her. An internet search for the person should direct you to her or his site.
The topic of the letter suggestion is as follows. There is a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives called the Appalachian Communities Health Emergency Act, otherwise known as the ACHE Act, H.R. 5959. The bill was introduced by Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-OH10) and would place a moratorium on permitting for mountaintop removal coal mining until health studies are conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services, and for other purposes. The bill has been referred to committee. Out of the New Jersey House members, only Representative Rush Holt (D-NJ12) is now a co-sponsor.
Coal plants emit mercury, a pollutant for which there is no safe minimum level of exposure, as well as acid-rain-causing sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, carbon dioxide, small particle pollution, hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, sludge, arsenic, lead, cadmium, and other toxic heavy metals. These pollutants threaten everyone, not just Appalachian communities, and most tend to persist in the environment. Many of them also accumulate in animal tissues, including human tissue. Moreover, mining by mountaintop removal has already destroyed more than seven hundred miles of streams and turned about 400,000 acres of some of the world's most biologically rich temperate forest into a flat barren wasteland. Furthermore, stopping global warming is hopeless unless virtually all the world's coal reserves remain underground. While the coal industry claims that coal is mandatory to supply U.S. energy needs, a very large portion of the coal mined from Appalachia is sold overseas. So, please write your Representative and urge him or her to co-sponsor the ACHE Act, H.R.5959. In order to bypass committees and send the bill to the floor, 218 co-sponsors are needed. Right now there are only 16. So, once you get your own Representative to co-sponsor it, please notify environmentally-conscious people whom you know you know in other states to do the same.
Peter J. Schweinsberg
P.S. This topic is depressing. If you send a letter to your Representative, for morale purposes, I would love to hear about it. I can be notified at [address removed]. Thanks again!