Local leaders are upset by Ashley Judd's recent comments

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

Actress, activist, and eastern Kentucky native Ashley Judd calls mountaintop removal the "Rape of Appalachia"

Judd made the comments during a speech to the White House Press Club.

Ashley Judd says in a 1 hour long speech, mountaintop removal is environmental genocide and should stop.

Local leaders and people whose livelihood depend on coal are upset she made these comments on a national stage.

“I am very proud to be a Kentuckian. and, of the many things my creator has seen fit to allow me to accomplish, being an eastern Kentuckian is the simple fact that brings me the most honor, the greatest sense of self. I love and am proud of being a hillbilly,” Judd said.

Ashley Judd tells the White House Press Club mountaintop removal is destroying the Appalachian Mountains she loves.

“And it gets bigger with every Appalachian mountaintop that is blown up, every holler that is filled, every stream that is buried, every wild thing that is wantonly and recklessly killed, every ecosystem that is diminished, every job that is lost to mechanization, every family that is pitted one against the other by the state-sanctioned, federal government-supported coal industry-operated rape of Appalachia: mountaintop removal coal mining,” Judd said.

“Ashley Judd is an egotistical brat from California who doesn't understand the culture, the heritage of what she calls hillbillies, and we're proud to be hillbillies,” Pike County Judge Executive Wayne T. Rutherford said.

Judd calls mountain top removal environmental genocide and accuses coal companies of spreading "propaganda" to show reclaimed mine sites are good for the area and mentions development on some sites like the Federal Penitentiary in Martin County and the Stonecrest Golf Course in Floyd County.

“On another site they built a golf course. I'm not to keen on reinforcing stereotypes about my people, but I don't know a lot of hillbillies who golf,” Judd said.

“I'm a hillbilly and I love to play golf,” State Senator Johnny Ray Turner said.

Stonecrest officials say 26,000 rounds of golf were played there last year and they bring in one million dollars of revenue per year.

“I think the statements she made are off base and I'm not trying to bash her, but I think mountaintop removal has been good for eastern Kentucky and the economy in eastern Kentucky,” Senator Turner said.

“She doesn't realize it when she gets up with lights, the lights she uses to put on her make-up, the lights come from coal,” Rutherford said.

Judd ends her speech saying she will continue to fight the permit process and look for new clean energy sources.

Senator Johnny Ray Turner and Prestonsburg Tourism officials are inviting Judd to play a round of golf at Stonecrest and tour the area and discuss her concerns.


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  • by Amanda Location: Pikeville on Jul 14, 2010 at 04:33 PM
    Oh yeah Connie, because Eastern Kentucky is totaly thriving with hotel chains, and over run with tourists who are just throwing their money around!!! Don't you see them??? ARE THEY FREAKING INVISIBLE CONNIE? Yeah, that's right, ending strip mining wouldn't effect everyone that much, just the little nobodies who the rest of the country doesn't care about. That's because Ky doesn't really produce that much coal compared to other states. Isn't that odd? I wonder why the anti coal people don't go after other states? Hmmmmm...... Yeah, Judd's cool with deep mining, especially when one caves in and kills about thirty husbands and fathers. Personaly , I don't get why the eco nazi's think deep mining is so okay. Maybe because they want to see the rednecks get crushed. Do you people not want to see the people of this area have anything?? I know!! Let's have a forced move from Eastern Ky, like we did the Indians. That'll save those mountains. Judd deserves everything she gets.
  • by HILLBILLY Location: KNOX CO on Jul 7, 2010 at 04:31 PM
    HEY ASHLEY, HOW DID U GET TO KY WHEN U COME FOR THE GAMES? DO U WALK,RIDE A BIKE.OH BY THE WAY THE HOMES U LIVE IN ,DID THEY PAVE OVER A LANDMARK OR WHERE SOMEONE MIGHT HAVE BEEN BURIED.THE TREE'S THEY CUT DOWN WERE THEY ALREADY DEAD? I WONDER WHERE ALL THE ANIMALS WENT WHEN THEY WERE MAKING ROOM FOR YOUR HOUSE? PEOPLE LIKE U SHOULD NOT LIVE IN GLASS HOUSES.BY THE WAY U ARE NOT U. K.'S GOOD LUCK CHARM. THEY DO GOOD WITH OUT U .THE MONEY U MAKE HAVE U EVER DONATED ANY TO US HILLBILLIES ? I WOULD LOVE TO LEARN HOW TO PLAY GOLF,NOT TAKE MY CLOTHES OFF
  • by Connie Location: Bell county on Jul 2, 2010 at 08:49 PM
    Our mountains are what make eastern Kentucky so uniquely beautiful and they sustain the greatest variety of wildflowers in the nation. That is what brings people in to visit and spend money in the area. If we flatten the mountains, then we no longer have this special place. That may not matter to some people, but to most of us, I think it does.
  • by GolferGirl Location: Eastern KY on Jun 30, 2010 at 06:10 AM
    Lead by example, Ms. Judd. Turn your electricty off!!! You should research just how much of this nation's electricity comes from coal mining. And as far as I know, not you nor anyone else has come up with an alternate power source to replace coal. As for you not knowning any hillbillies who play golf, just goes to prove that you're no hillbilly. StoneCrest is proof that without mountain top development, the people of Eastern KY would be deprived of opportunities that 'flat land' states have. And I am yet to see black streams or destruction of the hollers that you speak of. I do however believe that racing horses for people's enjoyment could be viewed as cruel, but who am I to judge. By the way, Ashley, you HAVE lost a fan! And I hope your bid for political office won't be in Eastern KY.
  • by Lucy Location: Knox county on Jun 29, 2010 at 07:49 PM
    We gasp in shock at the destructive clearing of the tropical rainforests in South America - upwards of 80,000 acres EVERY DAY, losing some 135 plant, animal and insect species EVERY DAY, also. This is because big business wants the money and the locals need to make a living. It's true that when your job is at stake the situation looks different. But all of us need to do some soul-searching. Are these jobs more important than the ruination that they are bringing to our earthly home. Let us take a lesson from the rainforests. If that destruction continues, there will certainly be an environmental backlash that will affect our very lives. While mountaintop removal may not be that extreme, make no mistake about it, Mother Earth will ask repayment for the jobs we so treasure today. Do we want our children to be stuck with the bill?
  • by Wake Up Location: Pikeville on Jun 29, 2010 at 06:52 PM
    There are quite a few people here arguing against Judd and MTR opponents as a whole on the grounds that the jobs from MTR are too important to lose. Funnily enough, mountaintop removal is one of the chief causes for the recent decline in mining jobs. It, along with increased mechanization in the industry as a whole, is the cause for this, not so-called "crazy environmentalists". Coal companies, just like any other companies, are in business to make money for themselves. And it's easier to make money if you have to pay as few people as possible. Why mine in traditional, less environmentally damaging ways when you can just blow the tops of mountains? Why do a job that takes hundreds of miners when you can do it with just a few? Open your eyes, Eastern Kentucky. The war on mining jobs is coming from within the industry, not from those concerned about our health and ecosystem.
  • by Linda Location: Harlan on Jun 29, 2010 at 11:24 AM
    Ashley DUDD.... How did a stupid ass like you ever graduate from the great UK. Your ignorant comments dont even deserve a response from the great people of Kentucky.
  • by responsible Location: hazard,ky on Jun 29, 2010 at 06:09 AM
    mtr has never impacted the enviroment and never will.ashley judd is in with the global warming crowd.she has to have some fake cause to represent to have a name with the hollywood elitist.if they were to ban mtr,then deep mines are next,then natural gas and oil and nuclear.anyway we obtain energy is under attack by the communist left.we are broke financially,if we have an economic collapse next year,2011,as many experts are predicting and embattled dollar becomes more worthless,then the man from china shows up and starts buying alot of things for a dime on the dollar they will buy coal.they will also strip mine it also and there will be no protest.the chinese own so much of our debt that they now have influence over every american man womam and child.why doesn't miss judd take up a worthy cause like bringing back american jobs by the millions? demand about things be made in america?miss judd is a betrayal not only to ky but all the u.s.
  • by interesting on Jun 29, 2010 at 05:39 AM
    Coal doesnt even support the whole population. Just go to the unemployment office on any given day and you are sure to find an office full of laid off miners. Not because they are lazy its just because they dont have a job to go to. The only reason some people get so protective over coal is just because they are afraid of making the coal bosses mad.
  • by Henry Location: Pikeville on Jun 29, 2010 at 04:14 AM
    Right On Ashley!!! I'm a coal miner and mountain top removal is a crime. We produced coal for this nation without MTR for decades and can continue to do so for decades without it. Only a idiot would support this practice. It decreases jobs and destroys our environment. In the words of honorable Senator Byrd MTR coal is no longer acceptable in this nation.

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