published Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

Group claims Chinese trying to destroy Tennessee mountains

NASHVILLE — The Tennessee Conservative Union is launching a statewide media campaign in support of a bill banning “mountaintop removal” coal mining, warning the Volunteer State has “become the first state in America to permit a communist Chinese company to destroy our mountains.”

“The Tennessee Conservative Union is 100 percent Pro-Coal, but our organization does not support destroying our mountain heritage,” TCU Chairman Lloyd Daugherty “Mountaintop removal mining kills jobs because it takes fewer workers to blow up a mountain.”

The ad alludes to a Wall Street Journal MarketWatch article from last May which revealed that China-based Guizhou Gouchuang Energy Holdings Group said it had raised $616 million in a private placement to be used mainly to acquire and develop Triple H Coal Company in Jacksboro, Tenn.

That would make Guizhou Gouchuang the first Chinese company to invest in coal in America, MarketWatch reported.

It also quoted an unnamed top executive at Shenhua Group, a wholly state-owned Chinese company, saying Tennessee coal mines were attracting great interest in China as energy companies look at U.S. coal mines.

Daugherty said “every Tennessean, regardless of political affiliation, should be appalled by the idea of allowing the red Chinese to destroy the very mountains crossed by Daniel Boone.”

He called on elected officials “of both parties to stand up for Tennessee’s mountains and against the exploitation of our resources by a communist country. Tennessee is a proud red state, but the Tennessee Conservative Union is not willing to go that red.”

about Andy Sher...

Andy Sher is a Nashville-based staff writer covering Tennessee state government and politics for the Times Free Press. A Washington correspondent from 1999-2005 for the Times Free Press, Andy previously headed up state Capitol coverage for The Chattanooga Times, worked as a state Capitol reporter for The Nashville Banner and was a contributor to The Tennessee Journal, among other publications. Andy worked for 17 years at The Chattanooga Times covering police, health care, county government, ...

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