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For Immediate Release, September 4, 2009

Contact: Tierra Curry, Center for Biological Diversity, (928) 522-3681

Groups Ask That Verizon Wireless Withdraw Support of Controversial,
Climate-change Denying Labor Day Event

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz.— Today a coalition of groups led by the Center for Biological Diversity sent a letter to Verizon Wireless asking the corporation to withdraw its sponsorship of a Labor Day rally being held in West Virginia to support mountaintop removal coal mining and oppose climate legislation. The groups represent millions of members and include Natural Resources Defense Council, Defenders of Wildlife, Rainforest Action Network, Greenpeace USA, Friends of the Earth, Appalachian Voices, Christians Caring for Creation, and many others.

“Verizon Wireless may say they’re an environmentally friendly company, but their mouth isn’t where their money is. Verizon Wireless is now aware that they paid money to sponsor an event that celebrates mountaintop removal coal mining, and they have not withdrawn their sponsorship. They can keep saying they’re a friend to the environment until they’re green in the face, but there’s just no environmentally friendly way to blow up mountains and dump them into streams,” said Tierra Curry, a biologist at the Center for Biological Diversity.

More groups are expected to sign on to the letter, which will be updated on Monday. As of Friday morning, nearly 80,000 concerned citizens had submitted letters to Verizon Wireless through CREDO Action and the Center asking the company to withdraw its sponsorship of the event. Other groups have also launched action alerts to their membership.

As current customers of Verizon Wireless, several of the groups have expressed their concern to the company about its support for the mountaintop removal rally, including the Center for Biological Diversity, Defenders of Wildlife, Natural Resources Defense Council, Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, and Grand Canyon Wildlands Council, and intend to reevaluate their relationship with Verizon Wireless.

More information:
Activists pressure Verizon Wireless to hang up on bad coal connection.
Verizon Wireless faces boycott for supporting mountaintop removal.

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