Tug Smith, “resident of Exeter, VA”
“People are reluctant to make an effort and I don’t know how you can motivate people. I’ve tried, I’ve argued, I’ve tried common sense. I try to get that attitude across to people when I speak with them, that doing nothing is going to accomplish nothing. And they’re just willing to accept things as they are and as they’re going to be. They expect the mountains to be torn away. And rather than rebel and trying to stop it, they’re just accepting it and going on. And that’s frustrating as hell to me, it just frustrates me. That people won’t do what needs to be done. And that’s not just my opinion, that’s a fact. Something needs to be done about this situation.
I feel confident that if we could get enough people acting aggressively against it, not just accepting it as something that’s unavoidable, I think we could stop them from tearing our mountains down like they are. I really do. But it’s going to take a lot of people, if not the heavy majority, to do it. It’s been stopped in other places. They stopped it in Wyoming. I read an article in some magazine, I don’t recall which one, but they were coming close to this little town. And when they go through, they have huge huge equipment, a bucket will pick up a hundred tons in one whack. And the people rose up and they said ‘no further’ and they stopped it. They couldn’t mine any closer to the town. There was a 12-foot seam of coal that ran dead under this community. And it’s very high-grade coal and corporations were determined, but the people were more so, and they stopped it.
That’s what I think we need to do, more than anything else, is make people realize that something can be done but it’s going to take a large movement, it’s going to take a lot of people. There’s not enough people stressing the fact that there is something we can do but it takes unity to do it. And without the unity, by golly, it’ll continue on. If we could just get enough people to raise hell and go through our elected officials and make them do their jobs, then I think we would get some results.“