• Clara Bingham commented on the blog post FDL Movie Night – The Last Mountain

    2011-06-27 18:28:32View | Delete

    I’d love to met Wayne Karlin, Jeff

  • Clara Bingham commented on the blog post FDL Movie Night – The Last Mountain

    2011-06-27 18:27:43View | Delete

    Thank you for having us. It was a pleasure!

  • Clara Bingham commented on the blog post FDL Movie Night – The Last Mountain

    2011-06-27 18:27:19View | Delete

    Absolutely! The best thing that could happen to Appalachia, and the US environment would be campaign finance reform.

  • Clara Bingham commented on the blog post FDL Movie Night – The Last Mountain

    2011-06-27 18:26:29View | Delete

    hydro has worked well in California–which only has one coal-fired power plant.

    The transition has to begin as soon as possible on all fronts.

  • Clara Bingham commented on the blog post FDL Movie Night – The Last Mountain

    2011-06-27 18:24:43View | Delete

    I’m about to sign up with Random House to write an oral history of Vietnam and the anti-war movement, which could also have the potential of becoming a film.

  • Clara Bingham commented on the blog post FDL Movie Night – The Last Mountain

    2011-06-27 18:22:08View | Delete

    Don Blankenship is right out of central casting. He’s the perfect villain. I noticed many audiences booing and hissing when his picture comes up at the end of the film. No one can make excuses for him.

  • Clara Bingham commented on the blog post FDL Movie Night – The Last Mountain

    2011-06-27 18:19:29View | Delete

    30-percent of the coal we burn in American comes from Appalachia, and only about 30-percent of the coal we mine in Appalachia comes from MTR, and some of that we even export to China. It would not be impossible to replace MTR-mined coal with renewable energy.

  • Clara Bingham commented on the blog post FDL Movie Night – The Last Mountain

    2011-06-27 18:13:41View | Delete

    Good question, and I wish I knew the answer.

    First of all, venture capitalists like to make a profit, so the state of WV and KY would have to change their entire attitude towards renewable energy and offer permits, and tax breaks, which sadly, I don’t see either state doing because their politicians are owned lock stock and barrel by Big Coal.

  • Clara Bingham commented on the blog post FDL Movie Night – The Last Mountain

    2011-06-27 18:08:57View | Delete

    First of all, I think Obama has to get re-elected before he’ll do anything more than he and the EPA have already done to limit MTR. Most of the coal states are swing states that he needs, like Ohio, PA, and others. The political pressures on him are huge, and the economy is at a standstill too, which doesn’t help because the industry can use the “jobs” card. So re-election, and a revived economy will be the prerequisites for Obama to act decisively.

  • Clara Bingham commented on the blog post FDL Movie Night – The Last Mountain

    2011-06-27 18:06:16View | Delete

    We may not be able to shut down coal, but we must start transitioning, and fast.

    One of the main arguments Bobby and the movie makes is that coal is only cheap because it’s subsidized. The true cost of coal is very high. A Harvard medical school study shows that the environmental and health costs associated with mining, transporting and burning coal are about $345 billion a year!

  • Clara Bingham commented on the blog post FDL Movie Night – The Last Mountain

    2011-06-27 18:01:31View | Delete

    I’m trying…..I’ve sent the DVD to several people who work in the White House. Lisa Jackson, the head of the EPA has seen it and so has Senator Barbara Boxer. I’m hoping that if we get a critical mass of people who are close to Obama to see the film, and recommend it to him, we may have a chance.

  • Clara Bingham commented on the blog post FDL Movie Night – The Last Mountain

    2011-06-27 18:00:06View | Delete

    We started filming in 2007, but didn’t finish for three years which was a good thing because the fight to save Coal River Mountain began in 2009/2010 and gave our story much more drama and action. Over 200 people have been arrested in civil disobedience protests against the blasting of Coal River Mountain, which Massey is still mining. This conflict made for some high drama that really enhanced the film’s narrative arch.

  • Clara Bingham commented on the blog post FDL Movie Night – The Last Mountain

    2011-06-27 17:57:25View | Delete

    Ken Hechler came to our screening in Charleston and received a standing ovation. I sat next to him and after the movie, the first thing he said was, “You’ve got to get this movie in front of President Obama.”

  • Clara Bingham commented on the blog post FDL Movie Night – The Last Mountain

    2011-06-27 17:55:59View | Delete

    Senator Byrd supported mountaintop removal and all things coal related until a month before his death when he had a death bed conversion on mountaintop removal. He said that he was for coal, but for mining it legally and that he believed blowing up mountains was destroying his state. I wish Senator Rockefeller would follow in his footsteps, but right now not one member of the WV delegation has come out against MTR even though polls show that 2/3rds of the people in WV are against it.

  • Clara Bingham commented on the blog post FDL Movie Night – The Last Mountain

    2011-06-27 17:53:45View | Delete

    You’re right Teddy. It’s basically a civil war down there. When we marched on Blair Mountain a few weeks ago, the street leading up to Blair was covered in waring signs–”Go Home” “We love coal” on some front porches vs. “save our mountains” on others. Small towns are divided and the tensions are very high.

  • Clara Bingham commented on the blog post FDL Movie Night – The Last Mountain

    2011-06-27 17:52:05View | Delete

    The film has changed me in several ways.

    First of all, it has reconnected me to my roots in KY where my extended family still lives, and it has turned me into an advocate. Up until now, I have always considered myself a straight journalist and have never crossed the line over to advocacy, but this issue is so pressing. It’s so dire and so important that it’s just not the kind of story that I can approach with a on the one hand and the other hand journalistic approach.

    Also, it has made me even more concerned about the state of the US media and investigative reporting. The Courier-Journal newspaper (which my family sold in 1986 to Gannett) and the Lexington Herald Leader have both closed their Eastern KY coal fields bureaus. This story is just not getting covered!

  • Clara Bingham commented on the blog post FDL Movie Night – The Last Mountain

    2011-06-27 17:44:13View | Delete

    I must confess Jeff, that I was pretty much oblivious of where my electricity came from before I went down to WV in 2004. It’s as if coal is America’s dirty little secret.

    I’m so sorry about your family’s homeplace. where was it?

  • Clara Bingham commented on the blog post FDL Movie Night – The Last Mountain

    2011-06-27 17:42:09View | Delete

    Jeff, our audiences at Sundance and in Seattle, NY, LA and the other big cities where we’ve shown the film have been completely shocked and horrified. They, almost uniformly, say that they had no idea that 50% of our electricity comes from burning coal, and they had never heard of mountain top mining, and were horrified to learn that 500 mountains, the equivalent of the state of Delaware, had been destroyed in Appalachia. It felt as if we were breaking this huge, new story……which, as you well know, is hardly the case.

    But it has been so satisfying to be able to expose the rest of America to what is going on in Appalachia.

  • Clara Bingham commented on the blog post FDL Movie Night – The Last Mountain

    2011-06-27 17:38:21View | Delete

    I think environmental issues aren’t making enough headlines, especially when it comes to climate change. People have been so tuned out and removed from the subject. The storms and floods of the Spring/Summer may change the head-in-the-sand attitude though. Human rights issues–like gay marriage for example, which is making big headlines here in NY–are easier to understand and relate to for most people.

    I think The Last Mountain is as much a human rights story as an environmental one. And in fact, the two usually go hand in hand.

  • Clara Bingham commented on the blog post FDL Movie Night – The Last Mountain

    2011-06-27 17:33:11View | Delete

    We didn’t have any trouble finding our distributor, Dada films, and there was plenty of interest from others, but we still haven’t found a home on TV. I think environmental and political documentaries don’t have a great reputation for increasing ratings.

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