All these years I thought mountains were majestic. That we could climb them, but not move them. Turns out I was only half right.
800 to 1000 feet blasted off the tops of mountains.
That’s mountains. Plural. All in the name of coal. Brace yourself before watching this video from EarthJustice:
There you have it. Coal companies use explosives to detonate as much as 800 to 1000 feet off the tops of mountains in order to reach the coal seams that lie underneath. Strip mining for coal. Gotta love it. This could be good news for mountain climbers, though. They won’t have to climb quite as high to reach the top.
“It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.” ~Sir Edmund Hillary
Beautiful quote. But I suppose it needs to be updated to:
“It is not the mountaintops we destroy but ourselves.”
50 percent of the electricity that heats our houses, lights our schools and powers our industries comes from coal.
A protest video from AppalaciaRising.org… (thanks to Wendy Green for this link!)
Update (January 25, 2011): The action campaign to stop the Spruce No. 1 Mine project in West Virginia, one of the largest mountaintop removal mines ever proposed in Appalachia, has ended in success. On January 13, 2011, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency took an historic step by vetoing the water pollution permit issued by the Army Corps of Engineers for the Spruce No. 1 Mine project. With this action to enforce the law, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson stopped a mountaintop mine that would have destroyed more than seven miles of vital streams and more than 2,000 mountain acres in an important part of Appalachia.
But Appalachia is not the only proposed mountaintop mine site. According to The New York Times:
Before blocking one of Appalachia’s largest-ever mountaintop coal-mining projects this month, U.S. EPA agreed to allow blasting to start on a half-a-dozen other mountaintop mines.
Your Voice Counts!
- Tell the EPA: No more mountaintop removal! Just sign this Rainforest Action Network letter.
- Share this post with others via facebook, email, twitter… yelling from mountaintops.
For more information about coal mining, check out my previous post, Clean Coal: Sort of Like Healthy Cigarettes.
Thank you for reading!!