Chattanooga Times Free Press: Group names Alexander 'Defender of the Mountains'

Posted on March 10, 2010

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., was honored Tuesday evening with a "Defender of the Mountains" award by the Alliance for Appalachia.

Jim Jeffries, a spokesman for Mr. Alexander, said the senator was the only Republican receiving the award, and it came as the result of "lots of hard work defending Tennessee's landscapes."

That work included Sen. Alexander's clean-air bill, his work in and on the Smokies, and his mountaintop-removal bill.

At the awards ceremony in Washington on Tuesday evening, Sen. Alexander thanked the group and congratulated members for their hard work.

"I have a very strong attachment to saving our mountaintops," he told the group. "I don't like dirty air, I don't like 50-story wind turbines on top of our mountains, and I don't like blowing off the tops of mountains and dumping them in streams.

"Those are the things that I am working on as a United States senator ... to hopefully end that practice."

The Alliance for Appalachia is a regional alliance with groups from five states.

Its goals include ending a form of coal mining called mountaintop removal, halting destructive coal technologies and supporting a sustainable economy in Appalachia, according to its Web site. Some of the groups involved include Appalachian Voices, Sierra Club Environmental Justice, Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards and SouthWings.