No Dang Commie is Going to Blow Up Our Mountains. That’s Our Job.
March 20, 2013
NASHVILLE — In advance of legislative hearings today on a bill banning “mountaintop” removal of coal in the state, the Tennessee Conservative Union on Tuesday launched a blistering ad attack on the practice and charged the Volunteer State will “become the first state in America to permit a communist Chinese company to destroy our mountains.”
TCU Chairman Lloyd Daugherty said, “Every Tennessean, regardless of political affiliation, should be appalled by the idea of allowing the red Chinese to destroy the very mountains crossed by Daniel Boone.”
While Tennessee is “a proud red [Republican] state … the Tennessee Conservative Union is not willing to go that red,” Daugherty said.
He noted that while the group, which bills itself as the state’s largest and oldest conservative group, is “100 percent pro-coal, [however] our organization does not support destroying our mountain heritage.”
He charged that using explosives on ridges above 2,000 feet “kills mining jobs because it takes fewer workers to blow up a mountain.”
The ad alludes to a Wall Street Journal MarketWatch article from last May that revealed China-based Guizhou Gouchuang Energy Holdings Group said it had raised $616 million in a private placement to be used mainly to acquire and develop Triple H Coal Co. in Jacksboro, Tenn.
That would make Guizhou Gouchuang the first Chinese company to invest in coal in America, MarketWatch reported.
The ad comes off as anti-China, but it also offers a critique of mountaintop removal coal mining in general, which is the big news here. The ad comes just a day before committees in both the state Senate and House are expected to vote on the Scenic Vistas Protection Act, a bill activists have been trying to get passed in the state for six years. The measure would make it illegal to blow up mountaintops to mine coal. Supporters are taking TCU’s support for the bill as a sign that it might gain more traction this year.
“The Tennessee Conservative Union is 100% pro-Coal, but our organization does not support destroying our mountain heritage,” TCU Chairman Lloyd Daugherty said in a statement Tuesday. “Mountaintop removal mining kills jobs because it takes fewer workers to blow up a mountain.”
JW Randolph, Tennessee director of Appalachian Voices, a group that has been working to pass the anti-mountaintop removal law, welcomed the ad. “We don’t care if you’re from Bristol or Beijing, blowing up the oldest mountains in America for a few tons of coal is a bad idea,” he said.