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Actress Ashley Judd joined a rally outside Kentucky’s state Capitol yesterday, February 10, to protest the abhorrent practice known as mountaintop removal.

The Kentucky native joined over 500 people at the rally to raise awareness of the practice in which pristine mountain peaks are blasted to unearth coal.

“Mountaintop removal mining is a tragedy,” she told reporters. “Mountaintop removal mining is a scourge on our land and our people. It’s killing our mountains – the very thing that produced us.”

She went on to say how shocked she was to witness the effects of mountaintop removal when she flew over Appalachian sites last year.

“Mountaintop removal coal mining is devouring vast acreages of irreplaceable hardwood forests,” she said. “Nothing, absolutely nothing could have prepared me for the sheer trauma of seeing mountaintop removal coal mining sites. I flew over barren moonscapes. Where once were ancient, verdant hills, or the most biodiverse forests in the whole of North America, I saw nothingness.”

Kathy Stein, a Democratic state senator from Lexington, is sponsoring legislation that hopes to stop coal companies from filling valleys with the debris from the mountaintops.

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