Appalachian Activist Fights Mountaintop Removal with Purpose

posted by scott parkin

Bo WebbSome great news. RAN’s longtime friend and ally, Bo Webb of the Coal River Valley, has won the prestigious Purpose Prize for his efforts in ending mountaintop removal.

The Purpose Prize goes to social entrepreneurs over 60 who, in their encore careers, are using their experience and passion to make an extraordinary impact on society’s biggest challenges.

Bo Webb’s Achievements Include :

  • Raising $8.6 million to move Marsh Fork Elementary School, which currently sits in the shadows of a $2.7 billion gallon coal sludge dam
  • Pressuring the EPA to create more stringent rules for granting permits that reduced MTR permit applications from 15 or more a week three years ago to nearly none today
  • Participating in the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) and educating attendees on the effects of MTR
  • Drawing high-profile notables into the anti-MTR movement, such as climate scientist James Hansen, actress Daryl Hannah, and environmental activist Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
  • Growing the Mountain Justice network to include hundreds of participating activists
  • Bringing significant media attention to MTR in various news outlets, books and documentary films

I’ve worked with Bo on a number of projects from the Wise Up Dominion action to a march and civil disobedience at Marsh Fork Elementary to Appalachia Rising, and he’s one of the most friendly, solid people I know. I always feel like he has my back in the work that we do together.

Congrats Bo!