Sierra Club endorses Jesse Johnson for WV Governor

The Press Release says it all:

Sierra Club News Release FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 3, 2008

Regina Hendrix, 304-343-5211
Jim Sconyers, 603-969-6712


Conservation Group Highlights Opposition to Mountaintop Removal, Praises Work to Protect West Virginia’s Environment

“We are very pleased to announce today that the Sierra Club WV Chapter endorses Jesse Johnson for West Virginia Governor,” said Political Chair Regina Hendrix. “As the only gubernatorial candidate working for a statewide ban on mountaintop removal, we believe his candidacy will give West Virginians a chance to vote for a governor who is dedicated to helping West Virginia’s workers by promoting renewable energy and keeping our state clean.”

Johnson showed how seriously he takes this issue by speaking to tens of thousands of people nationwide during the last year about the harsh realities of mountaintop removal. His plan for the economy proposes tax breaks and incentives for businesses using renewable energy technology and he has urged that citizens be given a dividend from taxes generated from non-renewables such as coal and natural gas. Unfortunately, Governor Manchin’s support of mountaintop removal has kept West Virginia from moving towards a clean energy future that would benefit the economy and the environment.?

Mountaintop removal mining is a destructive form of coal mining that has already buried more than 1,200 miles of streams and threatens to destroy 1.4 million acres of land by 2020. The mining poisons drinking water, lays waste to wildlife habitat, increases the risk of flooding and wipes out entire communities.

“Johnson shares many of the conservation principles that the WV Sierra Club stands for,” said WV Conservation Chair Jim Sconyers. “He understands the energy crisis, the need to transition from coal to renewable energy, and the looming threat of global – and local – climate change. And he is dead set against taking away West Virginia citizens’ land for the sake of building huge power lines that do not benefit West Virginia in any way.”

“The Sierra Club also praises Johnson’ opposition to proposed new electric transmission lines,”said Jim Kotcon, Chair of the WV Sierra Club’ Energy Committee. “hese lines would allow private, out-of-state electric companies to take private property from West Virginia citizens primarily so those companies can make exorbitant profits by gouging local electric ratepayers. Unfortunately Governor Manchin supports this bad deal for West Virginia. Is that what Manchin means by “Open For Business”? Instead of supporting environmental destruction and higher taxes, Johnson says he will work to derail these lines. That is what West Virginia needs.”

Along with the endorsement, the Sierra Club will lend its volunteer strength to Johnson’s campaign. We look forward to a victory party for the environment on election night and to many years of Jesse Johnson fighting for the environment as Governor of West Virginia.”

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Ronald Hardy


  1. Wow. That’s huge. My local Sierra Club continues to endorse a Republican incumbent because he could be worse. They’ve consitently done so over a very progressive Democrat and a Green over several cycles. The Illinois Sierra Club president is a Democrat hack.

    When I ran for State Rep, I faxed in my endorsement questionnaire to the Illinois League of Conservation. I received an answering machine message from some Democratic Ward headquarters in Chicago. Many of the environmental and labor groups continue to cling to the Dems regardless of how strong of a Green candidate is in the race. Really glad to see the WV Sierra Club has a spine and endorsed such a great Green candidate. Go Jesse!

  2. I agree 100%. It is huge, and Jesse deserves the endorsement.

    To learn a bit more about mountain top removal and Jesse’s campaign, listen to the GPW Radio interview with him here.

  3. Maybe Elizabeth May’s meteoric rise as Canadian Green party leader will teach the Sierra Club a little something about progressive strategy?

  4. You know Green Ferret, I think you have it right, but I also can’t help but wonder if we need our own set of Elizabeth Mays. Look at the progress Maine, Illinois, California and now Arkansas have made. It takes leaders. We need more of those.

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