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Common Reading to present mountaintop removal mining film, discussion February 21

ISSUED: 7 February 2014
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — Shepherd University’s Common Reading program will present the film “Coal Country” with a post-film discussion Friday, February 21 at 7 p.m. in Reynolds Hall.

“Coal Country” takes the viewer inside modern coal mining and features working miners along with activists who are battling coal companies in Appalachia. It goes into the homes of people most directly affected by mountaintop removal mining (MTR) who discuss their health problems, dirty water in their wells and streams, and dust and grime on their floors. It also introduces miners and coal company officials who are concerned about jobs and the economy and believe they are acting responsibly in bringing power to the American people.

Both sides in the conflict claim that history is on their side. Families have lived in the region for generations and most have ancestors who worked in the mines. Everyone shares a deep love for the land, but MTR is tearing them apart.

Are the people fighting against MTR really protecting the earth or do they stand in the way of affordable energy for all Americans? What is behind the promises of cheap energy and clean coal? And what are the alternatives for our energy future?

“Coal Country” is a film by Mari-Lynn Evans and Phylis Geller. Evans, executive producer, will lead the post-film discussion.

The film and talk are free and open to the public. They are sponsored by Shepherd University Common Reading, Shepherdstown Film Society, and Coal Country Tours.

For more information contact or call 304-876-5461.

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