Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Why I Do What I Do

Written by On The Road Again Program Speaker Wendy Johnston's 13 Year Old Niece and Mercer County, WV Resident Hannah Howard.  This statement will be delivered tonight at a WV Department of Environmental Protection Public Hearing of a Proposed 35-acre Strip Mine Expansion.

Hannah Howard
My name is Hannah Howard, I am a thirteen year old girl from Mercer County, West Virginia. I've lived in Mercer County all of my life, and I refuse to live anywhere else. I love West Virginia, and all of it's scenery. The luscious rhododendrons, the luminous greenery, and most importantly the mountains.

When I go to my grandparents farm, I usually go and help my grandfather with the gardens, which happens to be on the top of a mountain. Everytime I'm up there I stop what I am doing, and look at the view. There, on the top of that mountain, are two trees, kind of close together, yet far enough apart, in order to see the beautiful mountains in between them. It has been the most beautiful sight I have seen in my thirteen years, and if you don't mind, i'd like to keep that.

Honestly, I think what the miners of the strip mining groups are doing is just horrible things to do to the Wild, and Wonderful West Virginia.

Two of the most importnant resources in life, is water, and air, and all that strip mining industries are doing is taking that away. Without fresh water, and air, how will the people survive? All of the toxic chemicals are going into the water, and air. One example of where this is taking place is on Browning Lambert Mountain. There are families up there. They need fresh water, and air. There are families of young, and old. Why would you want to cut anyone's life short, without fresh water to drink, and fresh air to breathe.

Existing Strip Mine on Browning-Lambert Mountain, WV
When I heard about strip mining, I was disgusted with what West Virginia had come to. I come from a family who fights for what we believe in. We aspire to end strip mining once, and for all. No matter what how long it takes, or how severe the consequences are. We will fight for what we belive in!
In conclusion, we will accomplish our goals. We will do whats right, and make West Virginia a better place. All the D.E.P needs is a little help, and together, we will end mountaintop removal. Thank you.

Sincerely, Hannah Howard

P.S. I oppose the granting of Amendment No. 1, permit No. S401808.