Dear Outside Mountaintop Mining Advocates,
First, let me say, thank you for your passion and dedication to your cause. I appreciate the damage that mountaintop removal is doing to our state and I appreciate what you're doing to bring the issue to a wider national audience. Hey, you got Darryl Hannah arrested and that must count for something, right? Really, thank you.
But having said that, this strikes me as a profoundly misguided idea:
Environmentalists are sponsoring a contest to devise a new nickname for the state and for the West Virginia University mascot, the Mountaineer.I get your point, but this will not earn you points in the hearts and minds of lots of West Virginians. Those folks are going to see some outside do-gooder interlopers who are trying to come in and tell them how to live. This would be, frankly, like running a contest to rename Jesus in Bethlehem - your cleverness will not be appreciated. Which is a shame, because the folks most likely to take this the wrong way are exactly the people you need to win over.
They say that with surface mines blasting the tops off mountains in the state, the old nicknames no longer apply.