end mountaintop removal

The destructive process of mountaintop removal coal mining must be stopped. It destroys entire mountains, ecosystems, communities, and economies. Here, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. explains:

“In May 2002 I flew over the coalfields of Kentucky and West Virginia. From the air, I came face to face with one, but only one, of the enormous costs we pay for our nation’s dependence on coal. Leveled mountains, devastated communities, wrecked economies and ruined lives—this is the coal truth.

Half of our electricity comes from coal. In the Appalachian chain, ancient mountains are dismantled through a form of strip mining called mountaintop removal. We’re cutting down these historic landscapes—where Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett roamed and that are the source of America’s values and culture—with giant machines called draglines. These behemoths stand 22 stories, cost half a billion dollars, and practically dispense with the need for human labor.

That, indeed is the point. I recall a conversation that I had with my father when I was 14 years old and he was fighting strip mining in Appalachia. There was no environmental issue about which my father cared more passionately than strip mining. He visited the Appalachian coalfields in 1966 and many times thereafter. He explained to me that the strip miners were not just destroying the environment, they were permanently impoverishing the region; there was no way that Appalachian communities could rebuild an economy from the barren moonscapes the strip industry left behind. “And,” he told me, “they are doing it to break the unions.” Back then there were 114,000 unionized mine workers in West Virginia digging coal from tunnels and supporting the families and communities of Appalachia. Today, there are less than 11,000 miners in West Virginia taking the same amount of coal and only a fraction of them are unionized because the strip industry isn’t.” Read more…

Join over 30,000 others who are standing up against this heinous act against the environment.

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