470 Mountains Blown Up and Leveled
by James Glaser
May 21, 2008
Leonard Doyle, from The Independent/UK, visited Kentucky and found that coal companies have already leveled 470 Appalachian mountain peaks in order to cheaply mine coal. Doyle writes, "It's the one environmental crime that no US politician will confront."
There was just a Democrat primary election next door to Kentucky in West Virginia a week ago, and there is one going on today in Kentucky. Neither Barack Obama nor Hillary Clinton said a harsh word about the coal mines in either state.
America has a voracious appetite for cheap coal to generate electricity, and if we have to destroy a million-year-old mountain range to get that cheap coal, well, that is what we are ready to do.
Here is how it works. The coal company blasts the top of the mountain off and pushes all the lose rock down into the valley to the depth that the coal is exposed. They then scoop out all the coal and move on to the next mountain. Yes, I know this sounds impossible here in America, but that is what we are doing.
Leonard Doyle reports, "The rubble is then tipped into the valleysmore than 7,000 have already been filledand more than 700 miles of rivers and streams have disappeared under rubble and thousands more soiled with toxic waste."
He goes on with, "The process has accelerated wildly under George Bush. His pro-business at-any-price credo led to the tossing out of strict federal restrictions against dumping mining rubble within 250 feet of a mountain stream."
What the mining companies are doing today here in America is what these mining companies have done in foreign countries for decades. They developed this type of mining in places where rules did not apply, and they made a fortune.
Back in the United States they had to play by the rules. At least they had to play by the rules until they could install someone in the White House who cared more for money than protecting the earth. George Bush did away with the rules, and now the mining companies are doing away with the mountains.
It is hard to believe that this could be happening right here in the United States, but it is. Next time some politician tries to tell you that we are going to mine or drill for some natural resource safely, picture in your mind 470 mountains flattened and 700 miles of streams and rivers removed.
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