In the valleys of Appalachia, a battle is being fought over a mountain. It is a battle with severe consequences that affect every American, regardless of their social status, economic background or where they live. It is a battle that has taken many lives and continues to do so the longer it is waged. It is a battle over protecting our health and environment from the destructive power of Big Coal.
The mining and burning of coal is at the epicenter of America's struggle to balance its energy needs with environmental concerns. Nowhere is that concern greater than in Coal River Valley, West Virginia, where a small but passionate group of ordinary citizens are trying to stop Big Coal corporations, like Massey Energy, from continuing the devastating practice of Mountain Top Removal.
The citizens argue the practice of dynamiting the mountain's top off to mine the coal within pollutes the air and water, is responsible for the deaths of their neighbors and spreads pollution to other states. Yet, regardless of evidence supporting these claims, Big Coal corporations repeat the process daily in the name of profit. Massive profit allows Big Coal to wield incredible financial influence over lobbyists and government officials in both parties, rewrite environmental protection laws, avoid lawsuits and eliminate more than 40,000 mining jobs, all while claiming to be a miner's best friend. As our energy needs increase, so does Big Coal's control over our future. This fact and a belief that America was founded on the democratic principal that no individual or corporation owns the air and water and we all share the responsibility of protecting it, drives these patriotic citizens and their supporters from outside of Appalachia, like Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., to keep fighting.A passionate and personal tale that honors the extraordinary power of ordinary Americans when they fight for what they believe in, THE LAST MOUNTAIN shines a light on America's energy needs and how those needs are being supplied. It is a fight for our future that affects us all.
Written, directed and produced by Bill Haney, an award-winning documentary filmmaker and founder and president of the eco-housing start-up, Blu Homes, THE LAST MOUNTAIN was co-written and edited by Peter Rhodes and produced by Clara Bingham and Eric Grunebaum. Narrated by William Sadler, the film features original music by composer Claudio Ragazzi and includes the song "Your Control" by Crooked Fingers and Neko Case.
Why is the first thing they state wrong? "nearly half of energy comes from coal" When its barely over a quarter. That's not a mistake. Its propaganda, and its undermining (pun not intended) a great movement to reduce environmental destruction. Not to mention the countless other errors that are dotted throughout.
these bastards just do whatever they want,ifi lived there i would make sure there machinery would not run blow the tires..im so sick of seeing the people with a lot money that think they can do whatever they want to. ..
Coal is Fossilized Sunlight...we just need to burn it cleaner and more efficiently....You Anti everything Turds don't have any realistic alternatives...No Dams ... No Nukes ...No Burning ...Comparing Solar or wind Power to Coal Power is like comparing a Steak and Eggs breakfast with Hash Browns and all the Coffee you like to a breakfast of a Teaspoon of Yogurt and a cold glass of water....and your Battery Cars aren't any better...any Idea where the Metals for those Batteries come from or how they get Charged or what happens to them when they Die ? I Didn't think so Comrades...
Masseys motto is as fake as its commercial (That was the cleanest work overalls I've ever seen.)
If screwing people and destroying the earth is the right thing to do with energy, I hope I never live to see the wrong thing.
These people often live with poverty, and struggle with nature because of their love of the land.
These environmentalist / New World Order Shills ,Are the worst enemies the Appalachian people have .
Truth is they either want you dead Take Your Land and most of all your livelihood so you will be dependent totally on government .
people stand up for your self, start killing these assholes off, or let them continue to kill both you, AND YOUR KIDS... sorry folks this shit is allowed by us, we have let it go for so long than now THE ONLY CURE WILL BE VIOLENCE WITH ACTION.... if you are not willing to die for your belies, then you have nothing to bitch about, just my opinion...
Born an raised in southern West Virginia, and I'll be buried on a point ridge were five father's are buried. Love this place, wish everyone could live and love the land in which they live.
Now don't get upset with mining. Mining on its way out. renewable energy is the future. Most coal being produced in this area is Metal making coal shipped overseas to be cooked for steel mills.
Now there's a problem with greed, were after mining on a permitted mountain or ridge is completed the coal operater refuse to do proper reclamation or put anything back in order, and the power to be let them away with it. Company's must aquire a permit for mining on the surface and underground. A plan were reclaiming the land is agreed upon between a number of government agencies down to the end game, or what the land is supposed to look like when the mining equipment is took away. Reclamation is overhead no profit, a operater will do everything possible to get out of putting anything back right.
I've worked and have family working in the mines today. We won't be disappointed when mining goes. and it's going.
One last thing, here in West Virginia if you make electricity you have to store it in batteries. maybe us dumb hillbillies would make our own if we could sell it back to the power company. Might be able to make enough to share. Coal and natural gas both pollut.
if the people of America can feel like this about their own invaders. How about those in Africa and other countries that the western carry out their businesses. mining especially diamonds and gold. This is fair that these miners don't care about the damage they cause to the people health and the environment
This land belonged originally to the Native Americans, and European settlers, the descendants of whom are being affected by the problems covered in this documentary, are catching the backhand of what they put those people through. And its amazing to me that no one owns this. No one ever considers the fact that this, in part, is the chickens coming home to roost. All over the country the land is being ruined, water is being poisoned, people are dying, yet not one of these white people ever admit or own up to their part in this, and that their ancestors stole this land. The Native Americans took good care of this land, we killed over 8,000,000 of them, and threw the rest of them onto reservations Yet, we talk of our right to air and water; but that did not apply to the Indians. And nothing will change until we apologize, and own what we did, and give that land back.
The World is now a place where the people have no voice, and carry no weight. Coal petrol gas oil, is all out dated energy. They have ways to use clean energy, but its not profitable. The powers that run the globe, have to much money tied up in raping the planet and destroying the natural world. What most people dont seem to understand is, you dont mean shit to them, your just a pain in their ass. None of us have any rights, its all been smoke and mirrors, we've been conned, and believe me, it will take a revolution or a war at home against the powers, to change anything.
RSR423 So very true! The rich, greedy and powerful, didn't bother listening to the voice of the people, leading up to the French and Russian revolutions either...and look how well that turned out for them! Unfortunately, most people nowadays seem so apathetic and politically clueless, that even getting them to realise that they'd be better off with the trade unions fighting their corner, is too difficult a feat...never mind convincing them to think about using their collective might to start revolutions or civil wars. Talking of war, there's another of their most profitable rackets, and one that they're not likely to ever let us see an end to, that is not unless/until enough of the planets cannon fodder (and 'patriotic' flag wavers, who proudly cheer them on) finally get wise to the biggest money making (& working-class culling) scheme that's ever existed!
we are ALL EFFECTED ONE WAY OR ANOTHER BY THIS. WE AS A WHOLE ARE ABLE TO HEAL THIS PROBLEM IF WE TRY! THE DOLLAR IS NOT AS VALUABLE AS HUMAN LIFE. LETS WORK TOWARDS A BETTER, GREENER, MORE BEAUTIFUL, PRODUCTIVE SOCIETY!!!!!!
Im just really confused as to why the miners are fighting for the companies- especially since it was in the Labor Laws related to Unions they aren't allowed to demonstrate. I guess when the masters tell you to go fight for them, you can though- not really much of a Union idea though when looking at the history of how the unions came to be. I'm not an expert on coal, but it doesn't take a genius to see that when they are blowing up the mountain tops to get to the coal THEY AIN'T EMPLOYING NO FUCKING COAL MINERS!! Then on top of that, they're poisoning you and your kids??? WAKE UP!! IF YOU ARE IN THE UNION, LEARN YOUR DAMN HISTORY AND LEARN THE STRUGGLE THE UNION IS BASED ON!!! Seems to me, they blow up rock until they get to the coal, haul the rock off, blow up the coal, haul it off in big machines, then repeat. Where the hell are mining jobs in that? On top of that, living in the Southern Appalachians myself, I have to ask where is the connection to the mountains? This ain't the old way of mining, where they dig down into the mountain, this is something different. First thing you hear people talk about around here is how they miss the mountains when they leave. Keep this up, and we'll be looking around thinking we're somewhere more like Kansas or somewhere else flat and naked.I know this area is also very anti-union, which is odd since just a few generations ago the Union was pretty much made here when the miners marched for basic human rights (now called Union entitlements) in the workplace; safe working conditions, not being worked like mules for nothing, 8 hour work days, etc (you know basic workplace laws nowadays. Them men and boys marched, on foot, to Blair Mountain while being shot at and having bombs dropped on them by the government who was already corrupted by the money from big business, and won. How ashamed would those proud Southern Appalachian men (and boys, at the time children worked in the mines seperating the debris from the coal on the conveyer belt and were beat with whips and sticks by the overseer if they missed something!) who were brave and strong enough to stand up and fight for their dignity be to see how things are now? Now you got working men, living paycheck to paycheck, fighting for the owners and the wealthy who treat them as little more than tools they can replace for nothing- its you think those owners think of you as equals??? Hell no! It doesn't matter how much you fight against yourself and your own kind, you will never be one of them! Unless you make a few million a year., then you may.
I am so sorry that this is being aloud to happen to the Appalachians. We owe them. If it wasn't for them we wouldn't even be Americans. We'd be British. Isn't there anyone who has the power to stop these companies?!
We don't learn and won't because money is involved.History have shown the effects on our every day lives, irrespective of where we are in the planet,because of the degradation to our planet.Greed is the biggest evil.Using the word EFFECTIVE in relation to our environment means CHEAP!!!
Bet he didn't go to the same prisoner as someone convicted of drug use from the pain pill epidemic do! Probably went to some white collar bullshit country club prison! The wealthy don't even get punished the same as everyone else!
I find this highly ironic. I worked for quite some time in the concrete pumping industry. I spent almost a year working on the windmill farms in SoCal. I learned that the landowners rented out their space to the windmill people, that a single windmill brings down about a million a year in rent alone, that the local people don't pay any less for electricity than anybody else does, that the only way to make it profitable for yourself is to own one yourself, and all the ones you see not spinning are probably because they have Chinese and Korean parts and tend to contaminate the landscape with oil. So much for natural energy, no offense to Asians.
Point being that even clean energy is a lie, courtesy of your local politicians. And unions are just as crooked. In California, in order to work on an Edison site, you have to be a member of the IBEW. 800+ bucks a year in dues, as well as a percentage of anything you earn on site. I was required to join up, even though I was clearly not an electrician, just to pour concrete. I used to joke about it. Guys would ask what it was like being a pump operator, and I would point at the IBEW sticker on my hardhat and say "Couldn't tell you, I'm just an electrician.""
There are so many ways we could come up with renewable energy, from the motion of the tides to the power of the Sun, yet we can't even figure out how to recycle the containers our food comes in? In the long run, there can only be one winner: the humans, or the trash pile. My money's on the trash pile...
i read the comments below and i see stupid people who are to lazy to do any thing about it ,,, first thing is make laws ,,, yes make laws because the companys will do what the laws say ,,so than you make it the responcablitys to give back and take on the costs of fixing the problem , then you start tree farms and that makes more jobs , then you plant the trees , and thats another bunch of jobs and then the trees do their work every year they dump their leaves and this composts into dirt , and the microbs in the dirt start their work and before you know it you have trees that make a forest for life to start ,,, and you can also clean the water if you know how to ,,, but i have already said enough , and dont believe any one cares enough to actually do what they are suppose to do they all cry about it but not actually get up use their head and start to fix the problems
There's different way to mine coal strip mining it defiantly the most destructive
strip mining should be stopped but we need coal
Without electricity millions will die ppl must understand that now pollution is a bad thing so what's the answer
Living in Scranton Pa, I have seen what the mining industry does to human life and wildlife. Now that the coal is gone so is the economy. But no worries now they are fracking what is left of the landscape and poisoning the water supply of those unlucky enough to live near the fracking sights. The well paying jobs that were so highly spoken of? Well I am still waiting.
All this coal to make electricity which pollutes the air even more.. PENV has the solution to convert coal fired plants to heat induction plants that are 90% efficient with no pollution.. The problem is they can't get a license because they are blocked by old money and corruption.. All of our 130 nuclear power plants could be converted to this system of producing steam under electric heat induction.. Nuclear Power Plants are less than 1% efficient and have major waste problem..
There are over 1000 coal fired plants that have been shut down in US that could be converted to PENV
Two minutes in and I've decided that I'm not even going to watch this green Marxist neo-hippie bullshit propaganda piece. Any of you eco nuts notice how when Obama shut down the coal fire plants your energy bill went through the fucking roof? Bet you didn't. Bet you were too busy being triggered by paper bags and brownies.
Oh and by the way, China is the single largest polluter on the planet. Bar none. Yet none of you leftists ever say anything about all the gazillion metric tons of pollutants that Chinese factories and coal power plants spew into the atmosphere on a hourly basis. You can't even go to Shanghai now without wearing a respirator mask less of course you want to die. Yet none of you green freaks ever say anything about that. Oh no no. This despite the fact that what with the Earth being an enclosed ecosystem all of that crap eventually reaches us here in the United States either through the water or the air.
I agree that the energy companies are greedy and corrupt as fuck, but you hippies have not come up with a long-term sustainable solution to the problem of providing power to 300 million people without fucking up the environment. Your ideas for wind and solar and what have you work just fine for single-family homes but they don't work for cities.
From what I can see, you people, in your heart of hearts are just a bunch of America hating commies and the only thing you people want to do is weaken America while the rest of the world does whatever the hell it pleases.
Anyone care to try to prove me wrong?
Aint coal like fat ?
Its just matter of not over consumtion coal on a large scale?
The carbon will go back to the soil .
The problem with capitalism are the same as with fat people they want it all.
I mean why ride a truck to the supermarket then you ride a TREK.
Nano carbon pipes can be the future that can replace metal breaking.
Think about a work shop with no welding,heavy duty equipment and low energy bills.
The market are manipulated they spend billions on concrete plates squeres to make the side walks neat.
One other good question is
If the folks at 1800 had invented the jumbojet before the train do you think they still invested
in trains for trillions of tax money?
Do you know what a train ticket would cost if the train company had to buy all the land the railway are on?
isn't it time we start to take the money from these robber barons and organize alternative energy sources? CLEAN ENERGY ! COAL IS NOT CLEAN PEOPLE ! 50 YEAR OLD LAWS DO NOT APPLY FOR THIS NEW MILLENIUM ! OUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN ARE GOING TO BE VERY ANGRY WITH US. SHAME SHAME FOR SHAME.
Not everyone can just up and move. Some people have generations of family in these places, it is their home. Plus not everyone can just pick up and leave financially, especially in impoverished areas like this and many, many others who live in the shadow of big industry. Check out the stats, most people who are poisoned, dumped on, stripped of clean air and water reside in the poorest communities. Warren County, N.C - Chester, Penn - Dilkon, Ariz - West Dallas, Texas - Flint, Mich.
Some people can't put their money where their mouth is..
so move. If you believe that you are killing the world, your family and yourself, if you really believed it then you would put your money where your mouth is. Fun Fact: you are a bitcher and not a believer.
fun fact, most suburbs and city locations force you to buy electricity, and you don't get to choose where it comes from. many townships and housing committees will evict you if you choose to disconnect electricity to your property. conform. conform. conform
Any reasonable human being would welcome a lot more renewable energy sources, but you can't just totally destroy the coal industry when 55% of the country 's power plants instantaneously! Like Obama said before he even ran for potus, under his new energy plan electricity rates will skyrocket. And who can afford that? The very people that are forcing this on the American people. The gov't worker who earns a lot more than people working in the private sector. Average gov't salary is $71,000 while the average private sector earns juist $49,000 a year. See the lunatic left has some good ideas, but they never think about the consequences.
Wind farms are so ironic to environmentalists. They kill many birds, including those that are endangered. Plus the wind doesn't always blow. Why does this Kennedy sound like he's bawling when he talks?
All this dumping and polluting from our industries in America were huge problems up to the 80's, but it is not going on like these crazy environmentalists claim it is now. Not in this country! You want to see pollution and destruction of the earth and environment, go to China, India, Asia, Phillipines, etc. None of the water over there is potable. America has the cleanest water in the world.
+Terri Smith Well you did your children good to remove them from too many people who have the attitude that they can't do anything to improve their own lives. That attitude has always irritated me. Many many people in East TN also have that same attitude. And it's a shame. I grew up all my life there but I guess since my parents were from the west coast (my mom's family from England), us kids inherited a different way of thinking. That is: you can learn, you can do great things, the world is bigger than this patch of land and education is a good thing. I grew up in Anderson county TN. One of my friends husband actually beat their child for pulling an encyclopedia off the shelf and looking in it. She was too young to read but she could have looked at the pictures. Poor little girl, I was so angry. He screamed "those aren't to be touched!!!" Just shows that attitude I was talking about. You don't have to run for governor to make a difference, it looks like you are doing a great job as your kids' mom. I'm doing the same for mine.
+BendyBus Song Thank You. MY Dad's people are from Harlan County. It's strange but the people of East KY have more in common with the people from East TN than they do with other Kentuckians from Lexington, Louisville or Bowling Green. You certainly are right about the challenges facing my people, like the pill epidemic, poor health, unemployment and poverty. I wish I could help but I am much too old to get into politics. I moved to the Big City (LOL) of Corbin KY because I wanted my children out of all the drug culture, and I wanted them to have better schools and better opportunities for jobs. I didn't want to have to worry about losing one of my children to the deep mines.I miss my beautiful mountains though and sometimes I get so homesick I just cry like a baby. My oldest son is an Iraqi veteran, and he is going to college at EKU on the GI Bill. My youngest son just turned 18 and he is working at his first job here in Corbin. What part of East TN are you from? I went to college at LMU in Harrogate TN, and that was before the tunnel was built. Gosh I'm old. I will be 54 this coming February if I live that long. Best of luck to you Bendy Bus.
+Terri Smith You are entitled to your opinion. Of course. Free speech and all that. I am aware of what has happened with the coal mining since I am from East TN. I know about the history of South East KY. I know about the strip mining in East TN. I know about the coal strikes and the blow ups and cave ins and all that. Also, there are the generations of people on welfare and addicted to pain pills and alcohol. Teeth rotting out from all the Mountain Dew. And the all pervasive attitude that there aint nothin' can be done about none of it. Well, you strike me as an intelligent person with strong convictions. The poor down trodden folks really need a leader like you. Maybe you could help your people. I know people who live in Harlan county.
Yes..I am glad. You don't know anything about me.Do you think I am happy at the loss of jobs? I'm not. But I am tired of seeing the tops of our mountains ripped off, piece by piece. I am tired of seeing fish in the creeks floating belly up because of the run off of coal waste in the streams. When I was a child, we got our water from a dug well and it was the sweetest water I've ever drunk. After Shamrock came in the 80s and mined our holler, the water smells like rotten eggs. I am tired of seeing floods that destroy people's houses because the trees and top soil have been stripped away. I am tired of seeing companies like Duke make millions and millions while the miners and their family have to fight for decent wages and health insurance. I lost a brother in 1982 in the deep mines in Bell County KY. I lost a cousin in a rock fall in the deep mines in 1978. My Dad and brothers mined coal all their lives and that is how my Dad put food on the table. So don't assume you know anything about me. I am sad at the loss of jobs, but coal wasn't going to last forever. I am tired of all our coal severance tax money that was spread across the state instead of being used right here in East KY where it belongs! We need to try to get factories and call centers and manufacturing jobs to Appalachia. We need to promote tourism and open up trails in the National Forest for 4 wheelers and dirt bikes and horse riding. Coal had always been a boom or bust industry but now it's almost dead. You act like you are entitled to your opinion but I am not. So YES I am glad for that.
I personally have seen coal mining reclamation done right.. and over so many years the grass and trees plants flowers take over and its a beautiful pristine ecosystem with clean lakes ponds streams loaded with turles frogs fish ducks etc. As part of coal companies getting permits to mine they must restore the land to E.P.A. standards PERIOD! The reclamation in this movie is a travesty. Coal mine companies in most states would have to pay damage claims as whats poetrayed in this documentary. How West Virginia has bypassed Federal Laws and E.P.A. regulations is astonishing. ..but on the other hand the late Senator Robert Byrd a Democrat was practically like a dictator having been in West Virginia politics over 50 years is as guilty as the bad coal companies thats destroyed so much. If you care to look in the mirror everyone that drives or uses our nations roadways inadvertently put their seal of approval or the destruction of nature the vast amount of mountains forests wildlife that was destroyed is astounding.
why the hell did you keep re-electing Robert Byrd every election. Who the hell do you think was responsible for most of this? He was as crooked as they come and it shows. I do feel for your loss of a scenic wonder, but look in the mirror for the blame
Sounds like you know a lot, so I have a few questions for you.
1) What is the sustainable human carrying capacity of this planet?
2) What are the facts upon which you rely for that determination?
3) How has the forest that once covered the East Coast of the US changed in the past 500 tears?
4) How have the grasslands that once covered the Center of North America changed in the past 200 years?
5) Explain the Economic Law called the "Lowest hanging fruit principle" and its effect upon natural resources.
You are having difficulty with these matters it is because you are a naive, ignorant little child who would be much better off with mouth shut and ears open.
That is completely false. We have more than enough natural resources to sustain life in even higher numbers. Mankind is just too greedy to use the right methods of sustainability. The root cause is not overpopulation, it is greed!
to think this state votes heavily Republican all the time. I wonder if they will finally see who is selling them down the river. Alas, for many, it is too late. their wells are now polluted. Now they must deal with their foolish choices in the past.
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