Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Mountaintop Removal Bill Dies

This is a real shame. Jeff Woods puts it in perspective:

With a coal company essentially promising to mine by blowing off the tops of Tennessee mountains, lawmakers inexplicably refused to act and all but guaranteed great swaths of ecologically important woodlands will be laid to waste.

The National Coal Corp. threatened to shut down in Tennessee if mountaintop mining were banned. So to save 234 jobs, the sum total of the company’s workforce, lawmakers decided to sacrifice the natural beauty that underpins a gazillion-dollar tourism industry.

There is some hope for next year, but tragedy looms if the legislature doesn't act soon:

Environmentalists say they’ll present their bill again next year, and the governor has indicated he might help this time. There’s a sense of urgency. Mountaintop mining is about to become more familiar to Tennessee. National Coal sold its operations in Kentucky this year to focus on mining in this state. The Tennessee Valley Authority’s coal-fired power plants are about to be fitted with newer pollution scrubbers, making this state’s high-sulfur, dirty-burning coal more marketable, according to Barger.

Via ACK (cross posted at Appalachian Scribe)


Byron said...

Well this is bad news. So much for "the greenest state in the land of the free." Davy would be furious!

Going Crunchy said...

I think this is a crying shame.

If you also think in the almighty $, they haven't begun to figure out the true cost in ecological damage.

Clydia said...

What in the Hell is preventing our lawmakers from considering the damage and huge loss to our environment? Money? Can't be; nah, got to be that they all have an I.Q. in the single digits.! Let's round them up and make them live right in the epicenter of the mountain top coal mining operations. They cannot buy bottled water and they have to raise a garden in order to eat.
I say all this to calm myself down so I won't write what I really want to. I'm thinking barbed wire and balls behind a moving pickup.


P.S. if anyone has an inroad to contacting Kathy Mattea, I have written a song for her titled, "It's Snowing in West Virginia".