In defense of Ashley Judd's views on mountain top removal

I received this letter in support of Ashley Judd and her views on mountain top removal. It was written by Amanda Thornsberry.

I received this letter in support of Ashley Judd and her views on mountain top removal.  It was written by Amanda Thornsberry.


Dear Mr. Middleton,

Thank you for taking comments regarding Ashley's speech on Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining. First let me state that I respect the opinions of all from both sides of the fence. Now let me state, that I am appalled that there are so many fellow Kentuckians that are against Ashley's attempt to end destroying the very nature of our beautiful nation and state of Kentucky. I am even more appalled that fellow Kentuckians can have the childish demeanor to state that "Ashley Judd is not welcome in KY" and state that she does not know what she is talking about.
Ashley's "educated" speech is that of heartfelt and a positive good intent. The fact is that Coal Mining is not a cheap way to bring energy to communities. It is an expensive way in many aspects of our lives...cost efficiency, environmentally and the very beauty that our maker has created upon this earth. Ashley did her research and has proven facts that support everything she touched on in her speech. My question to the people who do not support Ashley and the many people who oppose Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining is this....Did they "LISTEN" to the entire speech? In other words, can these individuals PROVE that the facts Ashley made in her speech is undeniably incorrect? And do they have undeniable facts with proof to back these facts up that coal mining is the most efficient, cost effective method to bringing energy to communities?
My suggestion to all people is to take the initiative to learn more about the cause and effect of something such as coal mining before making comments that someone is not welcome into their home state just because they are against a method that by its very nature destroys our way of living. I would like to say to these anti-supporters of Ashley's initiative is would it feel if one day our beautiful mountains of Appalachia is completely gone and our people are driven out of their hometown because of the devastations that coal mining brought upon them? How does it feel knowing that the method of coal mining today leaves an absolute no future for the next generations to come?
I hope that my generation and the generations to come can come together as one to figure out that coal is not the solution, it is the problem with the high hopes that we can resolve this problem with innovative solutions that are environmentally friendly while preserving nature's very own as well as our people.
Again, thank you for taking the time to read my comments. And most of all THANK YOU ASHLEY for taking the initiative to speak openly and honestly about a problem that is literally stripping away the beauty of Appalachia including my Eastern Kentucky home!

Have a great day!

Amanda Thornsberry


Here are my previous blog posts regarding this topic.  We have received hundreds of comments from both sides on our website and the WYMT Facebook page.

Click here to watch Ashley Judd’s speech to the National Press Club.

Click here to read An Open Letter: In Defense of Coal

Coal supporters poke fun at Ashley Judd with semi-nude photo

Ashley Judd responds to coal criticism, personal attacks


I hope to have Ashley Judd appear on WYMT’s Issues & Answers program.  I am also working to schedule someone from the coal industry and Kentuckians for the Commonwealth to appear on the program to debate mountain top removal.

Let me know your thoughts.


Thanks for making WYMT-TV your source for news and information.  We appreciate your trust.

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Neil Middleton <><
WYMT Mountain News
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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Proud Kentuckian Location: Prestonsburg, KY on Jul 13, 2010 at 06:24 PM
    Ms. Thornsberry, do you enjoy electricity? Do you even know where most of it comes from? That's right, it's Coal. You talk about how it "destroys our way of living". I don't know where you live, and really I don't care, because until you and Ashley Judd can come up with alernative ways of living, then don't be making comments that you have only picked up from reports, that I know for a FACT aren't true. Ashley is no longer a Kentuckian (thank goodness) and she is living her life in California or Tennessee or wherever she calls home. Come here and play golf at Stone Crest, see what they have done there, or better yet, get out and look around you. People come here for the mountains and not ONCE have I heard any complaints about MTR. Check out the local trails, you won't see any complaints there. Better yet, submit a solution. I don't think you can. But hey, if you are so against MTR, find these families employment where you live. I bet you can't.
  • by Lucy on Jul 13, 2010 at 01:43 PM
    I have one suggestion for Ashley Judd. If She is right, then she needs to be working on a way to replace the jobs that will be lost if the strip mining is stopped. She needs to give the people an alternative way of living if she is determined to stop the strip mining.
  • by Big Country Location: Lexington on Jul 13, 2010 at 01:38 PM
    There is one fact that can't be denied, Ms. Thornsberry. That is the State of KY depends on coal and the tax it generates to survive. Anybody from KY knows this. Coal from the Eastern coal fields built Frankfort, Lexington, and other cities back in the '20's and 30's and continues to be an intregal part of the State's development at present. I believe more people are appalled over the "hillbilly golf" comment as they are anything else. That was a definite slap in the face to all from SE KY and an "educated" woman such as Judd who is from KY should've known better. The bottom line is this, as goes coal goes the state of KY. Jobs are hard enough to come by, especially in SE KY now. Just imagine if the majority of active strip mines are closed? Talk about a line at the Unemployment Office...oh yeah, that's almost broke too!! What I ask you would be your advice to these people who can't find work and possibly won't have any Unemployment to fall back on?


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