The Campbell County chapter is one of SOCM’s oldest chapters, formed in 1980 when the chapter structure was first established. Even before becoming a chapter Campbell county members in the 1970’s organized against the devastating effects of strip mining in their communities. They also participated in SOCM’s successful effort to pass a severance tax on coal, and petitioned county and state officials to force the area’s coal companies to pay their fair share of property taxes.
In the 1990’s members organized against the threat of a chip mill (a giant facility that can chip 60 acres of forest land in one 8 hour shift) being located in Campbell County and also worked for equal educational opportunities for youth in the mountains and in the valley.
Beginning in 2003 a massive organizing effort began around opposing mountaintop removal (MTR) strip mining coming into the area. In the Elk Valley community of Campbell County, despite widespread opposition and organizing by local SOCM members, National Coal Corporation (which was amassing many thousands of acres of land throughout Tennessee’s coalfields) was mining a 2,140 acre site which included taking off three peaks of Zeb Mountain. SOCM and its coalition alllies were able to report a successful campaign conclusion when and agreement was reached with National Coal that ended National Coal's involvement in the mountaintop removal business in Tennessee
Another 4-5 year organizing initiative of this chapter was to oppose the Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) plans to lease some or all of the agency’s 53,000 acre mineral track in the Royal Blue area of Scott and Campbell counties for mining, including mountaintop removal mining. Several years ago TVA leased over 1,000 acres of Braden Mountain for a mountaintop removal mine. Public outcry from SOCM and many other groups in Tennessee forced TVA to back off from additional leasing and agree to do an Environmental Impact Study regarding mining and the whole 53,000 acre tract. Several years later the EIS had not been released and TVA reported no intentions to release it. SOCM continued to organize allies and others potentially affected by mining in this area.
Besides opposing destructive developments, the chapter also organized a Clean Futures Initiative, recognizing the need for a local economy of good clean jobs that support families and that result in cleaner air and water as well as a decreased dependence on fossil fuel production and consumption.
Following on these significant successes, the Chapter is now inactive until further campaigns are identified.