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Old 07-09-2009, 09:28 PM   #1
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Default Mountaintop removal damage 'irreversible,' U.S. Senate hears DEP official

Mountaintop removal damage 'irreversible,' U.S. Senate hears DEP official only witness to defend practice
By Ken Ward Jr.
Staff writer
June 25, 2009

The Charleston Gazette - West Virginia News and Sports - News - Mountaintop removal damage 'irreversible,' U.S. Senate hears*
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Mountaintop removal coal mining is causing "immense and irreversible" damage to Appalachian hills, streams and forests, members of a U.S. Senate subcommittee were told Thursday.

A federal regulator joined a university expert, a West Virginia activist and a Tennessee environmental commissioner in criticizing large-scale strip mining's impacts, as lawmakers consider a bipartisan bill that would curb the practice.

"We must consider the cost of coal from the cradle to the grave," said Maria Gunnoe, a Boone County native who won the international Goldman Prize for her anti-mining activism. "We have the opportunity to stop the annihilation of mountains and people by mountaintop removal and to change the history of energy in this country."
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Old 12-20-2009, 10:18 AM   #2
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Default Mid-Atlantic Mountaintop Mining

Mid-Atlantic Mountaintop Mining

http://www.epa.gov/Region3/mtntop/
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What is mountaintop mining?

Mountaintop coal mining is a surface mining practice involving the:
removal of mountaintops to expose coal seams, and disposing of the associated mining overburden in adjacent valleys -- "valley fills"

Valley fills occur in steep terrain where there are limited disposal alternatives. Mountaintop coal mining operations are concentrated in eastern Kentucky, southern West Virginia, western Virginia, and scattered areas of eastern Tennessee. In 1998, the US Department of Energy estimated that 28.5 billion tons of high quality coal remain in the Appalachia coal mining region. Restricting mountaintop mining to small watersheds could substantially impact the amount of extraction that takes place.

There are 5 basic steps to this method of mining:
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Old 12-20-2009, 10:19 AM   #3
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You Can End Mountaintop Removal

http://www.ilovemountains.org/
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Mountaintop removal is a radical form of coal mining in which entire mountains are literally blown up -- and it is happening here in America on a scale that is almost unimaginable.

Mountaintop removal is devastating hundreds of square miles of Appalachia; polluting the headwaters of rivers that provide drinking water to millions of Americans; and destroying a distinctly American culture that has endured for generations.
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Old 12-20-2009, 10:21 AM   #4
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Default Mountaintop Mining

Mountaintop Mining
Bill Moyers

http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/09072007/profile.html
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In August 2007, The Office of Surface Mining in the Interior Department issued a draft revision to the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977. Surface mining accounts for an increasing share of the coal mined in the United States. The proposed changes relate to the practice of "mountaintop mining" which although cheaper and safer than underground mining, has come under fire from environmentalists and coal-producing area residents.
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There are three million pounds of explosives used a day just in West Virginia to blow the tops off these mountains. Three million pounds a day...To knock fly rock everywhere, to send silica and coal dust and rock dust and fly rock in our homes. I wonder which one of these mountains do you think God will come down here and blow up? Which one of these hollers do you think Jesus would store waste in? That's a simple question. That's all you have to ask.
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Old 12-20-2009, 10:22 AM   #5
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Default Mountaintop Mining

Mountaintop Mining

http://www.mountaintopmining.com/
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MOUNTAINTOP MINING is simply coal mining activities that occur at the topmost portion of a mountain. There have been various emotional statements in the press about this form of mining that are neither based on fact nor supported by the truth. This overview is an attempt to provide a viewpoint not readily portrayed in the press and to clarify many misstatements. It is important to accurately present another perspective on MOUNTAINTOP MINING so that individuals can examine for themselves the various viewpoints and arrive at their own conclusions on this mining method. Only through education with all of the facts can controversial issues be accurately studied.
Quote:
ECONOMIC DIVERSITY IN THE COALFIELDS - The future of Appalachia has to be tied to economic diversity. A mono-industry economy is not healthy for the long-term viability of a region. Ideally, jobs that pay factory wages are the goal. Higher wages insure that every household can sustain a decent standard of living. Tourism has been touted by many as a viable alternative. An editorial by Bill Bishop with the Lexington Herald-Leader made a very eye-opening point that tourism is principally built on minimum wage jobs and that tourism alone is no bargain for a region. One major drawback facing the region is the availability of level land out of the floodplain---something people in the rest of the country take for granted. For an individual to create level land in mountainous terrain, this task is difficult and financially almost impossible. The responsible use of MOUNTAINTOP MINING creates level land, land that has the potential for many other uses.
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