The Rape of Appalachia: Politics and Power
“Appalachia’s mountains are being blasted at a rate of several ridgetops each week. Parents fear for the health of their children. And those trying to fight the devastation have found that coal baron Don Blankenship, C.E.O. of Massey Energy, is tougher than bedrock.”
In West Virginia, Citizens Battle Against the Mining Companies Carving Off Their Mountaintops.
Maria Gunnoe’s voice echoed beneath the West Virginia Capitol rotunda. A small woman with cascading hair, she stood almost on her toes. “Please listen up,” she said. “Our wells, our land, our homes, our culture, our very lives are being threatened. Will it take a tragedy for us to be heard?”
Taking On a Coal Mining Practice as a Matter of Faith
Mennonite Central Committee Appalachia and other Appalachian Christians are trying to halt controversial coal mining practice called mountaintop removal; it has begun to replace underground mining in Appalachia as a preferred method of extraction because of its efficiency and lower cost; mountaintop removal involves leveling mountains with explosives to reach seams of coal; coal industry asserts that mountaintop removal is a safer way to remove coal than sending miners underground and that without it, companies would have to close mines and lay off workers…
Go Tell It on the Mountain
As its not-at-all euphemistic name would indicate, mountaintop-removal mining makes no effort to disguise its impact. Coal-mining companies brazenly invade Appalachian communities, blow the tops off mountains, send massive coal trucks careening up and down narrow roads, spewing coal dust into the air and mining waste into the water, and terrorize residents who resist.
Rule to Expand Mountaintop Coal Mining
“From 1985 to 2001, 724 miles of streams were buried under mining waste, according to the environmental impact statement accompanying the new rule. If current practices continue, another 724 river miles will be buried by 2018, the report says.”