Coal Country

Co-presented by Greater Washington Interfaith Power and Light

Most Americans are shocked to learn that nearly half of the electricity used in the United States today is produced by coal, the dirtiest fossil fuel. Coal Country reveals the truth about modern coal mining. The story is told by people directly involved, both working miners and activists, who are battling the coal companies in Appalachia. Tensions are high. It’s a “new civil war,” as families and communities are deeply split over mountaintop removal mining (MTR). The tops of mountains are blasted away, exposing seams of coal, while debris is pushed into valleys and streams. Residents endure health problems, dirty water in their wells, dust and grime on their floors. The miners are frightened that, without MTR, they’ll lose their jobs and won’t be able to feed their families. What does this mean for America and the rest of the world? The coal industry is spending millions to promote what it calls “clean coal.” Is it achievable? And at what cost? Directed by and produced by Phylis Geller. Executive Producer, Mari-Lynn Evans.

A Crime Against Creation (12 min. excerpt) from:
RENEWAL (USA, 2008)

Across the nation, people of faith are standing up for the environment. In the mountains of Kentucky and West Virginia, today’s mining practices are literally removing the tops of mountains to extract coal to feed American power plants. Evangelical Christians bear witness to this devastation and begin organizing against the practices that are destroying the land and polluting the waters of Appalachia. This documentary captures stories of people whose passion and deep moral commitment are making a difference in a time of grave ecological threats. Directed and produced by Marty Ostrow and Terry Kay Rockefeller.

Introduced by Martin Smith, Senior Associate Rector, St. Columba’s Episcopal Church. Discussion with filmmaker Phylis Geller and members of the Church’s Environment Committee follows screening.

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