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Sad Day for Appalachia: Mountaintop Removal Approved


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View Jared Saylor's blog posts
21 May 2009, 11:09 AM
 

Appalachia's mountains never seem to get a break. First, back in 2007, a district court judge ruled in favor of a lawsuit we brought on behalf of some West Virginia groups that stopped five mountaintop removal mining permits from going forward because of the permanent destruction they would have done to Appalachian streams and headwaters. It was a short-lived victory: the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the decision and the permits were moving forward again.

But then, the Obama EPA said it was going to review a slew of pending mountaintop removal mining permits that were awaiting the outcome of the court decision, and all were optimistic that the agency would put a halt on them and help prevent further stream and mountaintop destruction from happening. Appalachian groups hailed this decision, but again, victory was short-lived: just this month, the EPA said that despite having reviewed the permits (and despite mountaintop removal mining completely flattening entire mountain ranges and completely burying streams and headwaters) it was going to let 42 mountaintop removal mining permits proceed.

The agency, in correspondence with West Virginia Congressman Nick Rahall, said that it won't raise any environmental objections to 42 pending permits, despite severe and irreversible impacts to water quality in Appalachia. Joan Mulhern, our senior legislative counsel in Washington DC said it best:

EPA has claimed that it will follow the law and science, but announcing they have no concerns about 42 pending mountaintop removal mining permits is a sign that they are following neither. There is no such thing as "good" mountaintop removal. Simply put, mountaintop removal is nothing but bad. The EPA seems to flying in the face of the sound science President Obama vowed to restore to government. This looks more like politics as usual on mountaintop removal, primarily designed to appease Big Coal. We call on the Obama administration to ensure that sound science and clean water, not Big Coal, guide these decisions that so dramatically impact people's lives and Appalachia's streams and mountains.

SOMETIMES I FEEL AS IF THE PEOPLE WHOM WE CHOOSE TO REPRESENT US DO NOT BECAUSE THEY ARE CREATURES FROM SPACE..PERHAPS IT WOULD BE WISE TO CHAIN THEM TO A TREE AND FORCE THEM TO WATCH THE MOUNTAINTOP REMOVAL (FOR A WEEK) AT LEAST..

DO ANY OF THESE PEOPLE HAVE ANY CONSCIENCE ? I REALLY DO NOT UNDERSTAND THESE PEOPLE EXCEPT FOR THEIR GREED THAT THEY COULD CONDONE THIS!!! THEY DO NOT CARE ABOUT THE ENVIROMEMT OR PEOPLE, ONLY THEIR THERE PROFIT. EARTHJUSTICE KEEP UP THE GOOD FIGHT!!!

What profits a man if he gains the whole world and losses his own soul; the surface mine reclaimation act of 1976 expressly forbids this practice. This is just another bout with the megalomania known as Big Oil; who owns nearly all of the fossil feul sources in the continential U.S. - indignation at the unmitigated greed of the 911 crowd is highly appropriate - their day is coming. Even now nanotechnology is making consumption generation obselete; the new 2010 Ford Focus got 81.5 mpg in a recent road trial - water is the universal solvent; it is also life's greatest necessity - This practices violates at least 7 of the major and irrefutable pillars of The National Environmental Quality Index - Clean Water; Watershed Protection; Alternative Energy; Soil Conservation and ultimately the carbon load in the Clean Air Act and it's Kyoto protocols. There is no NEPA standards which could possibly allow this practice - even on a small scale. This is totally illegal.
truly Keith Scharding
the bicycle is still the world's most efficient engine.

I agree with one of the bloggers, if we do not ban together we will NEVER win this fight. We will be fighting and signing petitions FOREVER. We need the sixties people once again to march, protest and stick together. We need a leader to lead the fight to organize the people and protest to congress and the President.
Until this is done, we are done, over and forever fighting for what we have fought for in the past again and again.

This is disastrous. It is human hubris at its most obnoxious! I cannot understand how the EPA (Enabling Pollution Agency?) can permit mountaintop removal. DESTROYING ACTUAL MOUNTAINS? How dare we?
I am going to write angry protest letters to all parties involved. If enough of you do the same, at least a loud scream can be engendered against this outrage.

The American people have been betrayed. Campaign promises have yet again been betrayed in exchange for the corrupt demands of the coal industry. In the full knowledge of the danger of global warming, the appalling pollution of streams and water supplies endangering the public health, the devastating destruction of the beauty of Appalacia, and the filling of valleys with filthy debris, all totally unnecessary, Salazar has finally shown his dirty side!
GREED IS YET AGAIN VICTORIOUS!
The promises of change have been tossed away!
Ian Campbell Cree, MB(Hons.), MS, FRCS(Eng. & C.), FACS, LRCP.

I am extremely upset with Obama's EPA and his failure to act on this. I think Earth Justice, Union of Concerned Scientists and other advocate groups should unite around this issue! I voted and campaigned for this president in hope that we would be CHANGING this kind of shameful of politics.
Come On! Lets Get Busy! Write to Obama and tell him what we think!

THIS IS BULLSHIT! WE OBVIOUSLY STILL LIVE IN A NEAR-DICTAITORSHIP GOV'T WHEN MOUNTAINTOP REMOVAL IS STILL ALLOWED AND THE PEOPLES VOICE IS STIFFLED! HOW IS MOUNTAINTOP REMOVAL ANY DIFFERENT THAN THE TERROISIM OF THE FAR EAST.

Who does our Government work for? What decides these matters? What is the Prime Concern here - the health and welfare of the American tax payer OR the enrichment of Corporations, pollution of our air and water, desecration of our mountain scenery, and endangerment of our wild life?
THIS IS A SCANDALOUS DECISION - I CANNOT BELIEVE THAT THIS IS BEING PERMITTED, AND CAN ONLY THINK THAT THE DECISION MAKERS HAVE HIDDEN ULTERIOR OR ENRICHMENT MOTIVES.

It’s unbelievable that any branch of government can issue permits permanently disfiguring an entire region, of what is considered by some, as the most beautiful scenery in the country. If those making the decisions to issue permits authorizing mountaintop removal lived in the effected areas not one permit would be issued.

There must be a lot that I don't understand here. The irreversable damage mountain top removal does to the entire ecsystem is the ultimate distruction of steams, wildlife and the quality of life.

Corporations are running the World and we are just standing around watching. We need to do something. Ban together and let this government know that we are the ones in charge.
There is not going to be anything left in 50 yrs. if we don't do something now. By the time my 12 yr. old son becomes my age, there will not be any appalacian mountains.

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