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Coal Cocked

Bernofsky, Gene / World Wide Film Expedition
Year Grant Awarded 2013

Email > wwfester@gmail.com
State > MT Zip Code > 59801
Website > http://www.worldwidefilmexpedition.org
Website > http://www.cultureunplugged.com/storyteller/Gene_Bernofsky

Arch Coal Corporation of St. Louis, Missouri, mines for coal in Virginia, West Virginia and Kentucky using the technique called Mountain Top Removal, (MTR), which entails literally removing the tops of mountains to expose and access coal beds. The removed mountain material is placed in the adjacent valleys. Whole communities have suffered forced removal from their homes, farms and lands. Streams and rivers have been clogged, diverted and polluted. Throughout the region of MTR major grassroots resistance to Arch Coal and MTR is organized. However, the process continues unabated with strong political and legislative support.

Arch Coal is currently being permitted to strip mine 1.3 billion tons of low grade coal in South East Montana in the Tongue and Powder River valleys. The Otter Creek Mine. The coal is intended for sale to China and will ultimately result in 11 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide released into our air. The carbon emissions of coal burned in Asia and China are brought back to the United States via the prevailing winds. As the emissions cross the Pacific the ocean itself is acidified killing plankton and algae leaving dead water in it's wake.

Our film, Coal Cocked, advocates for the health of the flora, fauna, water and people of this region in Montana and will empower the Ranchers, Farmers and American Indians who oppose the Arch Coal strip mine. We have interviewed grassroots activists and residents in West Virginia, Kentucky. Montana, Wyoming and Oregon and are are now in post-production.

Our goal is public awareness of the human and habitat costs of Arch Coals' mine project in Montana. Our film is meant to inspire resistance and organized opposition to the mining resulting in the ultimate abandonment of the project. During this transition time from dirty coal to clean energy any degradation of pristine lands for coal profiteering must not be permitted.