Thursday, July 27, 2006

Mountain Top Removal (MTR) Mining

It's a topic that draws emotion beyond words from some folks, in others the emotion is buried down somewhere beneath the overburden and money. It is a disastrous practice which benefits a small number of corporations at the expense of local communities, the environment, and our mountain future. It is Mountain Top Removal mining and it is the gravest threat to Appalachia since the broad form deed.

Until recently, the fight against MTR has remained largely out of the mainstream media airwaves and thus out of the public eye. Several highly regarded publications and personalities including National Geographic, Vanity Fair, NOW with Bill Moyers, and NPR's Bob Edwards (whose compelling documentary "Exploding Heritage" airs this weekend on XM 133 and NPR!) have recently featured MTR. And there are several excellent websites by folks dedicated to increasing awareness about MTR and how we can hopefully one day stop it.

Links and descriptions are provided below:

  • Appalachian Voices A grassroots organization working with coalfield residents and legislators to end Mountaintop Removal. Lots of facts and resources for learning more about Mountaintop Removal

  • Kentuckians For The Commonwealth - a grassroots activist organization that fights against Mountaintop Removal mining.

  • Economic Impact of Mountaintop Removal on Coal-mining Communities -- an article by Kristin Johannsen

  • Moving Mountains Article in Orion magazine by Erik Reece.
  • Death of a Mountain -- A gut-wrenching account of MTR by Erik Reece

  • Mountain Justice Summer Campaign

  • Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition

  • Mountaintop Removal Clearinghouse A blog attempting to bring together the many resources and people working on issues related to mountaintop removal (MTR) coal mining in Appalachia.

  • Missing Mountains: We Went to the Mountaintop But it Wasn't There -- 35 Kentucky writers explore mountaintop removal mining.

  • Bringing Down the Mountains: the Impact of Mountaintop Removal Surface Coal Mining on Southern West Virginia Communities, 1970-2004 A Ph.D. dissertation that is the first historical treatment of mountaintop removal coal mining and its various effects on southern West Virginia communities by West Virginia University alumnus Dr. Shirley Stewart Burns.

  • Photographs and Images of MTR:

  • Satellite photographs of Mountaintop Removal sites in Kentucky

  • West Virginia photo gallery

  • Mountaintop Removal Photo Gallery

  • Some government links on MTR:

  • Mountaintop Mining & Valley Fills in Appalachia: Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (Final PEIS)

  • US Government Office of Surface Mining page on mountaintop removal

  • And the nasty curmudgeons who practice, advocate for, and promote MTR:

  • Massey Energy Company

  • International Coal Group-The corporation responsible for the Sago disaster

  • Peabody Energy

  • Arch Coal, Inc

  • Friends of Coal - Political Action Committee and advocacy group that defends the positions of the coal mining industry and argues for less government regulation; the site has no page specifically dealing with mountaintop removal

  • Kentucky Coal Education This pro-coal website contains "Fun Stuff" for kids as well as lesson plans and other resources for teachers and the public.

  • West Virginia Coal Association West Virginia's pro-business, pro-coal site. The site contains many statistics on production and employment.

    Our Goblin Market said...

    This is horrendous and should be brought out into the public eye. I had no idea this happens to the degree I see here. Thanks for the post.

    John L. Kerns said...

    This is very bad.

    Lazyhorse said...

    Thanks for an excellent and comprehensive post on mountaintop removal, Jeremy. It's precisely this sort blog post that is helping to get mountaintop removal into the public eye. Because of your efforts and that of thousands of us around the country, I honestly believe that the worst types of mountaintop removal will end sooner than anyone thinks. Much sooner.

    JW Randolph said...

    Rock on Jeremy!

    Grandfather Ed Wiley's 40 day march to washington DC has huge implications for MTR activists.

    Ed is marching 455 miles to raise awareness for Marsh Fork Elementary School, where the children are being poisoned by coal dust, and a 2.8 billion gallon impoundment dam looms directly above the school!

    Check out Ed's movements on the .

    JW Randolph said...

    JW Randolph said... - thats the site. I can't get the < a > command to work...

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