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By Penny Loeb

Deep within the center of the southern West Virginia coalfields, essentially the most vital environmental and social empowerment battles within the kingdom has been waged for the previous decade. Fought by way of a heroic lady suffering to save lots of her tiny group via a landmark lawsuit, this conflict, which led all of the technique to the halls of Congress, has implications for environmentally awake humans around the world.

The tale starts with Patricia Bragg within the tiny group of Pie. whilst a deep mine tired her buddies' wells, Bragg heeded her grandmother's admonition to "fight for what you think in" and led the conflict to save lots of their consuming water. even though she and her pals quick confident kingdom mining officers to strength the coal corporation to supply new wells, Bragg's struggle had in basic terms simply began. quickly large-scale mining started at the mountains in the back of her liked hole. Fearing what the blasting off of mountaintops might do to the standard houses lower than, she joined a lawsuit being pursued by way of legal professional Joe Lovett, the 1st case he had ever handled.

In the case opposed to the U.S. military Corps of Engineers (Bragg v. Robertson), federal pass judgement on Charles Haden II stunned the coal by way of granting victory to Joe Lovett and Patricia Bragg and quickly halting the perform of mountaintop elimination. whereas Lovett battled in court docket, Bragg sought alternative routes to guard the assets and security of coalfield groups, all of the whereas spotting that coal mining was once the lifeblood of her group, even of her family (her husband is a disabled miner).

The years of Bragg v. Robertson bitterly divided the coalfields and left many bewildered via the criminal wrangling. one of many state's biggest mines close down as a result of the case, leaving hardworking miners out of labor, not less than briefly. regardless of hurtful phrases from participants of her church, Patricia Bragg battled on, making the two-hour trek to the legislature in Charleston, again and again, to invite for larger controls on mine blasting. There Bragg and her neighbors received help from delegate Arley Johnson, himself a survivor of 1 of the coalfield's maximum disasters.

Award-winning investigative journalist Penny Loeb spent 9 years following the twists and turns of this notable tale, giving voice either to voters, like Patricia Bragg, and to these within the coal undefined. Intertwined with courtroom and statehouse battles is Patricia Bragg's personal quiet triumph of graduating from collage summa cum laude in her overdue thirtie and relocating her kinfolk out of welfare and into prosperity and freedom from mining pursuits. Bragg's amazing own triumph and the victories gained in Pie and different coalfield groups will shock and encourage readers.

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Moving Mountains: How One Woman and Her Community Won Justice from Big Coal by Penny Loeb

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