I live in a beautiful town nestled in the Appalachian mountains, one of the oldest ranges on the planet. As such, they contain major deposits of anthracite coal as well as bituminous coal. The primary method of accessing this coal is mountaintop removal. The entire top of the mountain is blasted away, resulting in toxic runoff and the destruction of indigenous flora and fauna. Airborne particles and contaminated water have severe health consequences for humans as well.

Related article: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110623090001.htm

Grist

Mtr weekThis week hundreds of residents from Appalachia and beyond came to Washington, DC, to demand Congress end mountaintop removal coal mining and enforce the Clean Water Act.

They talked to their representatives in Congress and the White House, rallied, and made calls to call for and end this destructive practice that has damaged or destroyed nearly 2,000 miles of streams and flattened over 500 mountains, and threatens to destroy 1.4 million acres of mountaintops and forests by 2020. The visit was organized by several Appalachian grassroots organizations, including the Alliance for Appalachia and Appalachian Voices, where I previously served as executive director.

This week, I was deeply moved as I watched live streaming videos of local residents from Appalachia get arrested for holding sit-ins at Rep. Hal Rogers’ and Rep. Nick Rahall’s offices. I listened to them insist that they are sick and tired of the coal industry poisoning…

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