Over the past few years I've had the pleasure of traveling to the hollers and hills of Appalachia with country crooner Big Kenny Alphin (of the duo Big & Rich), showing him the devastation wrought by mountaintop removal coal mining. Tomorrow Big Kenny comes to Capitol Hill, to headline a rally -- and to perform -- against the world's worst strip mining.
I hope you can join us at 1:30pm at Spirit of Justice Park, at the corner of C St. and New Jersey Ave. SW, just east of the Longworth House Office Building --one block from the Capitol South Metro Station.
(Big Kenny and me on Kayford Mountain, West Virginia)
Kenny, of course, is one of the most committed and outspoken of the many musical artists who have banded together with NRDC as part of our Music Saves Mountains campaign to end mountaintop mining.
"The beauty of the Appalachian Mountains has inspired countless songs in country, bluegrass, gospel and folk music," says Kenny. "We must do everything possible to protect them."
The outdoor rally tomorrow is well-timed, as the coal industry has brought bus loads of its supporters to town this week to lobby Congress to stop cracking down on reckless mining. Kenny -- alongside other peformers and real Appalachian citizens -- will speak in one voice to declare that Big Coal doesn’t speak for them.
This counter rally against mountaintop removal is a prelude to an even larger demonstration that will take place later this month: Appalachia Rising. Thousands of coalfield residents and supporters are expected to gather in Washington, D.C. for this historic event.
Naturally, Big Kenny will be coming back for that event too, to show once again that music can save mountains!