And Now to ‘Streamline’ King Coal’s Beheading of Appalachia
By FRANCIS X. CLINES
Published: November 7, 2005, NY Times:

Summary: In four states along Appalachia, they’ve got diggers and dynamite going 24/7 to execute, and this is the official term, “mountaintop removal” on this region. This is in order to get at the low-sulphur coal, but the waste is just being dumped into the hollows and valleys. The longtime resident/activist referred to throughout the article successfully mounted a legal challenge against major coal companies, five years ago. Meanwhile, everyone’s favorite Assclown-Staffed Government did some legal switchery that made King Coal unchallenged. Helps that one-time Deputy Interior Secretary was once, and is now, a lobbyist for the mining industry . . . “Estimates are that by the end of the decade, an area larger than the state of Delaware will have been laid waste by dynamite and bulldozer.” My American-based LJers, how do you deal with this impunity??

Six years ago, Jim Weekley, a watchful retiree in Appalachia, became angry enough to defend his seven-tenths-of-an-acre homestead in West Virginia’s Pigeon Roost Hollow from a gargantuan mining process with a formidable name – mountaintop removal – that tells only half the truth.

The other half is the obliteration of countless streams, forests and hamlets lying below as mountaintops are systematically decapitated with dynamite to leave mesa-like tabletops. Rich low-sulfur coal veins are thereby exposed and mammoth 20-story-tall bulldozers move in to dump millions of tons of slag waste down into mountain hollows like Pigeon Roost. (Erin says: Good God . . .).

“I ran free in this hollow all my life,” explained Mr. Weekley, the lone holdout who refused to sell his place in one of the serial hamlets routinely bought for evacuation and obliteration by mountaintop miners.

The machines operate round the clock across four states, and from the air the earth scars resemble tracts of moonscape peeling nonstop across verdant Appalachia. (more…)

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