Moving Mountains: How One Woman and Her Community Won Justice from Big Coal
by Penny Loeb
In late 1994, wells in Pie, West Virginia, began to go dry, leaving many residents of the small coal-mining town without potable water. When local ... Show synopsis In late 1994, wells in Pie, West Virginia, began to go dry, leaving many residents of the small coal-mining town without potable water. When local housewife Trish Bragg made a few phone calls in an effort to solve this problem, she had no idea that her inquiries would eventually lead to her becoming the named plaintiff in a major lawsuit, a summa cum laude college graduate, and a hero of her community. Moving Mountains recounts the struggle of Trish Bragg and other ordinary West Virginians for fair treatment by the coal companies that dominate the local economies of southern West Virginia. The collateral effects of mountaintop removal, deep mining, and other mining practices are felt most profoundly in the communities that supply much of the labor for these mining operations, which results in divided loyalties among families that have made their living from coal mining for generations. Author Penny Loeb spent nine years chronicling the triumphs and setbacks of people in the West Virginia coalfields--people caught between the economic opportunities provided by coal and the detriments to health and to quality of life that are so often the by-products of the coal industry. The result of her work is an account of the human and environmental costs of coal extraction, and the inspirational grassroots crusade to mitigate those costs.