The Daily Pulse:

Mountaintop Removal Hangs on One Vote

A bill that would ban mountaintop removal in Tennessee is one vote shy of making it out of the Senate Environment Committee and on to the full Senate for a vote. 

Below the photo (taken by yours truly near Eagen, TN) is an update from Dawn Coppock, legislative director for LEAF, the Lindquist Environmental Appalachian Fellowship, an environmental group that uses faith and religion to fight mountaintop mining and other issues.

From LEAF:

Dear Caretakers of Creation:

Tuesday is our last chance this year to ban mountain top mining in Tennessee and it all hangs on ONE vote in the Senate Environment Committee. Tuesday is scheduled to be their final meeting, so I am doing something LEAF hasn't done before -- sharing the vote count. Until now, I've kept our numbers private from industry lobbyists. However, they likely know most of this at this point, and YOU can be more effective with more detailed information. Here is it is:

There are 9 members of the Senate Environment Committee, and we need 5 "yes" votes to pass the bill out to the full Senate.

The great news is that we have 4 solid "YES" votes.

Senator Doug Jackson, our prime sponsor
Senator Tim Barnes, a co-sponsor
Senator Eric Stewart, a co-sponsor
Senator Charlotte Burks

There are probably two solid "NO" votes.

Senator Ken Yager, Fan of "Friends of Coal" on Facebook
Senator Mike Faulk, Sponsor of "Friends of Coal" License Plate bill

There are 3 Senators who either say they have not decided or who haven't gone on record at all this year. These Senators are key to the outcome of this bill.

Senator Steve Southerland, Committee Chair - 615-741-3851
Senator Jamie Woodson, Speaker Pro Tempore - 615-741-1648
Senator Jack Johnson - 615-741-2495

Any one of these 3 Senators could be our fifth "Yes" vote. Clearly, calls and letters to them, as well as letters to editors in their districts, are critical NOW.

Prayers are critical, too. Think how many times one person's voice has made all the difference in the Bible and also in American history. Now is such a time for Tennessee's mountains. Pray for wisdom, character and courage for these powerful leaders. Heartfelt thanks to our supporters are in order as well.

On Tuesday, at 10:30 CST, the Committee will hear testimony from the coal industry as well as from the bill's supporters.  A vote should follow.  If you can't make it to Legislative Plaza, you can watch the proceedings live on the legislative website:

After you call or e-mail, I hope each of you will find time this early spring weekend to experience the wonder, awe and gratitude that God's creation inspires.

With gratitude for each of you,

Dawn Coppock
Legislative Director, LEAF

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