By Melissa Charbonneau on
Actress Ashley Judd will call for an end to mountaintop coal mining in an address at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on June 9.
The environmental activist and spokesperson for the Natural Resources Defense Council will spotlight the controversial practice that President Barack Obama has called “one of the most destructive industries in America.”
The mining method is used in Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee, and Judd’s native Kentucky and involves using explosives to blast away up to 1,000 vertical feet of mountaintop to access coal seams underneath. Critics say the dumping of waste rock and debris into nearby valleys and streams has destroyed mountains, polluted drinking water, caused flooding, and led to higher disease rates.
The Obama Administration has issued sweeping federal regulations to clamp down on the ability of mining companies to dump waste, making it more difficult to obtain mining permits.
Judd’s remarks may be viewed live on the NPC website at 1 p.m. local time. The speech will be her second at the National Press Club, following a 2005 appearance in her role as YouthAIDS Global Ambassador.
NRDC is an environmental action group with 1.3 million members that works to curb global warming, protect endangered wildlife, and promote renewable energy sources.
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