ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – A dozen protestors upset with Peabody Energy were arrested outside the coal giant’s headquarters in downtown St. Louis Friday.
The nonviolent protest was organized by the group Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment (MORE), to draw attention to Peabody’s mining operations in Appalachia and Arizona.
Protestor Zach Chasnoff said Peabody’s coal extraction methods are ruining the environment. “It’s complete devastation, not just of like the scenery, but of the water and the land,” he said.
The protest featured Fern Benally, a Navajo who says Peabody’s mining operations in her hometown of Black Mesa, Arizona are hurting the land and people. “People are actually being diagnosed with black lung and they are fighting [Peabody] in the courts,” she said.
The protestors were arrested for trespassing, failure to disperse, and passive resistance of arrest.
Meanwhile, Peabody spokesman Vic Svec says Peabody does not use mountain top removal mining but does use strip mining, which he claims the company follows the best practices when using.
“I’m not aware of any specific claims or litigation involved,” Svec said, in response to Benally’s comment. “Certainly, we evaluate all claims and would take a look at the individual circumstances around each.”