Mountaintop Removal Stops Here

Twilight, Boone County, WV

It’s a wonderful place to be for now…

Thanks to multiple mountaintop removal permits, Twilight is the next community on Route 26 to be threatened by extinction!

OVEC is interested in helping to restore the pride in Southern WV communities and their rural lifestyles. We recognize that these are some of the most resilient people in this country. They have a lot to teach us about the land and its association to the people here, and the only way we can learn is by preserving it.

If this opportunity escapes us, it will never present itself again. Twilight will be gone. The people there will be permanently displaced and the community will be boarded up and dozed down for its coal. Please help us stop the depopulation of Twilight. WE are the only chance that this town and its people have to exist in the future. Please help! Don’t let Twilight be the next Lindytown.

“They have taken everything away from me and now the final insult is, in what should be my retirement years, Patriot Coal wants to buy our life’s work and destroy it and run me and my family out of Twilight along with everyone else that lives here, just to mine the coal.”
-Frankie Mooney

Meet Frankie Mooney… He is a 40-year UMWA member and has 22 years of experience in underground coal mines. He has lost a brother, an uncle and his Dad to “accidents” in the mines. He is now permanently disabled from the impact that mining coal has had on his health. He has lived in the town of Twilight all of his life, on property that his family has occupied for generations.

Frankie was freely offered $775,000.00 for his place by Patriot Coal Company. He is now offering to sell his property to us for $125,000 less than he was offered. Frankie is willing to take the cut to help preserve this place, the local communities, and the access roads to many area cemeteries. Until OVEC can raise the funding for the purchase of his place, Frankie is willing to live in and fight the conditions that MTR is creating. Please understand that Frankie and his family do not have to make this choice.

THE PROPERTY:
The Mooney property consists of 9 acres, with its coal and mineral rights intact. These acres are some of the most biodiverse in the country, as well as some of the most threatened. This property extends slightly up the hill behind most of the town of Twilight, acting as a buffer between the town and existing coal property.

On the land, there are 2 very nice homes and 7 outbuildings. The land and homes have been tended by the Mooney family for many generations. This property also contains the Mooney family cemetery, which would not be given adequate protection by West Virginia laws if the property were to be sold to the coal company.

Frankie Moonie wants to sell his land, rich with his family history and life’s work, to OVEC. He hopes to protect his family legacy from the permanent destruction of mountaintop removal by selling the property to an organization which has the resources to fight back. Frankie doesn’t want to sell to the coal companies, because he knows that Patriot Coal and Massey Energy are attempting to depopulate all of Twilight, as they did Lindytown. The Mooney property, acting as a buffer between coal company land and the town of Twilight, would be the industry’s strategic buy. Preserving this land is crucial to the future of Twilight, another town that the Coal Companies would like to wipe out forever.

The Coal industry, with its eyes on Twilight’s coal reserves, would gladly displace the people who have called Twilight home for generations. If we allow business as usual to continue, Route 26 will be gated off, becoming company land for miles beyond Twilight.

THE PLAN:
Working with property owners in Twilight, OVEC could more successfully fight the multiple coal companies closing in on the last of the small communities on Route 26. This will be a learning process for community members hoping to learn about how to combat mining permits and their impacts on local residents.

As of now, we do not have access to safe local meeting spaces for our organizing efforts anywhere in Boone County. This could be a command center, if you will, for combating the impacts of MTR and protecting the people in the area. Making high-speed internet available through house computers and trainings could be very helpful in these areas, as most people do not have internet access. This could be a very useful teaching and learning center for all of us, as the property is perfect for seminars and trainings of all types.
There is abundant space for an education center, including a library full of information about the many aspects of our culture, including MTR and its impacts on our natural resources and culture. There is no better place than in the middle of the devastation to learn and teach how to stop it.

The space could be used to teach the youth here how to live a more sustainable life, and how this lifestyle is connected to the survival of our rural culture. There is much garden space for growing fresh foods, and ample space for workshops on prepare, can, and preserve their own foods in the traditional methods

The space could also be used for boarding the many volunteers and media folks that come to the area to document the fight against MTR. This could serve as meeting space and retreat house for the many organizations organizing around the issue of MTR. It would give them an education from a resident’s point of view.

This property could be used as an evacuation center in the event of a flood. This is desperately needed in this town. The property and homes are above the flood plain and are the highest point in the town.

On the Mooney property, in Twilight, WV, the possibilities are endless. The need for a safe meeting space in Boone County, WV, is overwhelming. So is the need for a base from which people can study, document, and fight Mountaintop Removal. So is the need for a center for the preservation of the local culture and traditions. So is the need for a resource center for local residents. Here is our chance to make these things happen, deep in the heart of the coalfields.

Donate:

We at OVEC believe that raising the funding to purchase the Mooney property is an enormous task, but we also feel that this is the next step to stop the depopulation of our precious rural culture and its people. $650,000.00 is a lot of money to us, but to the coal companies it is only pocket change. We recognize this. We also recognize that we have some amazing people working with us that are asking for opportunities to really put a stop to MTR.

Here is that opportunity!
Donate by PayPal or with a credit card, contact OVEC: Phone: 304-522-0246

To donate by check, make it out to ‘OVEC,’ put ‘Mooney Family Trust’ in the memo line and mail it to:
OVEC
PO Box 6753
Huntington, WV 25773

For Mountaintop Removal, Coal Slurry and Coal Sludge Issues Contact:
Vivian Stockman vivian@ohvec.org

Thank you.

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5 Responses to Mountaintop Removal Stops Here

  1. Randall Maggard says:

    He just wants $650,000 for 9 acres, boy he saw a _____ when he saw OVEC coming. I’m sure they will just call up one of their out of state Hollywood friends to give them the money. That way they can come to West Virginia once a year to get arrested for tresspassing then fly in their jet back to Hollywood while the rest of us are still trying to hold on to our jobs.

    Token Coal Guy,
    Randy

  2. Maria G says:

    These coal companies should be ashamed of what they are doing to our communities and people. They have none of that tho…
    We cannot keep doing this!

    For every 1 job there is 10 residents loosing everything that there family before struggled to have.
    Our mistake was allowing folks like Randy depend on this for a living.

    • Walt says:

      Yes these coal companies should be ashamed of providing jobs not only at the mines but in the surrounding areas as well, and let’s not forget the fact that most of the coal mined goes to producing energy that we all use in our daily lives.

      Your one and ten comment is another lie, spread by the environmentalnut’s.

  3. Dorothy says:

    It’s understandable why a person who has a job doesn’t want to lose it. No one can be faulted for protecting themselves, but surely they see the damage that is being done to the land and to the people—to their own family and friends. The people who want to stop the atrocity of MTR are trying to protect their homes and families.

    I hope this works out and OVEC can buy. To own the mineral rights is practically a miracle. I thought those were all gobbled up many years ago.

  4. They Don't Get It says:

    To say that the issue concerns only Mountain Top Removal is short-sighted. The battle over MTR is only scratching the surface. Blood will drip across black stone into filthy river beds. People will keep their mouths shut out of fear. The old slave-driven Behemoth will not fall without taking down everything in its path.

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