by Graham Shelby

Fourteen protesters will be spending the weekend in the office of Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear.

They belong to an environmental group called Kentucky Rising that gathered in the governor’s office this morning to demand a meeting with the governor. Beshear met with the demonstrators, who voiced their objection to mountaintop removal mining and their concerns about the environmental damaged caused by coal mining in eastern Kentucky.

In his State of the Commonwealth speech last week, Beshear called for the EPA to get off the backs of the state and the coal industry. One of the protesters, Jason Howard, objected to that.

“It’s not the EPA and the federal government that needs to get off your back. It’s the coal industry and your administration that needs to get off our backs,” said Howard.

Beshear didn’t offer to change his positions. The group decided to continue their protest in the governor’s office. They were prepared to be arrested at the end of the day on Friday.

Instead, the governor told them they can stay as long as they like. The group plans to stay through Monday when other environmental activists will gather in Frankfort for a rally called I Love Mountains Day.

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