Environmentalists in Kentucky scored twice today, once in a court of justice and once in a court of public relations.
A judge ruled that environmental groups and individuals can challenge a settlement between the state and "two coal companies accused of submitting false water pollution discharge reports from mountaintop removal" coal mines, reports Ronnie Ellis, state-capital correspondent for Community Newpaper Holdings Inc.
The ruling "came on the same day that environmentalists occupied the outer office of Gov. Steve Beshear's office and forced a meeting with him at which they questioned the governor about support of the coal industry at what they say is the expense of clean, safe drinking water," Ellis writes, in one of many stories generated by the event.
The meeting turned into a sit-in, and then a "slumber party" in which more than a dozen protesters are camping out in the office over the weekend, Ellis reports. "At first Beshear said his schedule wouldn’t allow him to meet with them, but he changed his mind and underwent about 45 minutes of intense questions from about 25 protestors. Then he invited them to stay for the weekend, ordering capitol security to stay nearby but not to arrest them, and 16 of them accepted." (Read more)