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Protesters enter second day in governor's office sit-in

"The end goal is to stop surface mining. Period!" says author Wendell Berry.

This is the second day of a sit in at the governor's office staged by a group of environmentalists, including noted author Berry, who say the governor should do more to stop pollution they say is caused by mountaintop removal.

"The destruction of people's water wells. We know that there are also more serious issues of pollution, mine acids, trace minerals and so on. Substances that are known to be harmful to health," says Berry.

Bill Bissett, the president of the Kentucky Coal Association, says mountaintop removal has limited environmental effects and can do good for people who live nearby.

"I think what these folks are referring to is mountaintop removal in the 1970s, or what you call strip mining. When you look at 21st century mining, we're doing a much, much better job at protecting the earth, doing environmentally responsible mining, and again providing 93% of the electricity in the Commonwealth," says Bissett.

While the protesters are still hunkered down in the capitol building there, others came from around the state to show support.

"The protesters were inside protesting mountaintop mining and as someone who believes we shouldn't tear the tops of our mountains off, I thought if they're willing to go in there and sit all weekend, I could at least be willing to drive down from Louisville and buy them some coffee and food," says Jeff Marean.

The protesters will be staying in the capitol through Monday when they hope to continue a dialog with Governor Beshear.


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