Clinton Down With Mountains Coming Down

Hey all, just started up another blog over at The Green Zephyr. I have to write there a couple times a week, so hopefully it will mean more blogging here too.


So for anyone not aware of mountaintop removal (MTR) coal mining, Mountain Justice Summer is a great resource.

Essentially it is the removal of anywhere from 200-1000 vertical feet of a mountain ridge in order to expose and remove the coal that runs laterally across the mountain in layers. The left over mountain is then dumped into the valley streams between the mountains, burying one of the most important water sources east of the Mississippi.

MTR is a complex issue, one that people like Ed Wiley and Judy Bonds (who will be speaking at JMU on April 16th as part of Earth Week) have been fighting for a long time now. But what should be simple to anyone aware of climate change, ideas of environmental justice or common 21st century sense is that we need to just stop making new coal plants, stop blowing up mountains for the black rock, and start investing in technologies that will be available long after coal is gone (and won’t add to climate change).

“Clinton: “Maybe there’s a way to recover those mountaintops . . .”

Published by jamiehenn, March 19th, 2008 Coal , Coal Campaign , Fossil Fools Day , Politics

With all the attention to Obama’s wavering on coal issues, have we been letting Clinton off the hook? In an interview this morning with West Virginia Public Radio, Clinton wavered on the issue of mountaintop removal, making a false dichotomy between profits and environmental protection. You can listen to the broadcast here or read the quote below:

I am concerned about it for all the reasons people state, but I think its a difficult question because of the conflict between the economic and environmental trade-off that you have here. I’m not an expert. I don’t know enough to have an independent opinion, but I sure would like people who could be objective, understanding both the economic necessities and environmental damage to come up with some approach that would enable us to retrieve the coal but would enable us to do it in a way that wouldn’t damage the living standards and the other important qualities associated with people living both under the mountaintop and people who are along the streams. You know, maybe there is a way to recover those mountaintops once they have been stripped of the coal. You know, I think we’ve got to look at this from a practical perspective.”

There is so much wrong with this response. We need to find ways to retrieve the coal? Here’s a better idea: stop burning it in the first place. And I’m sorry, but since when was it “practical” to blow the tops of mountains, destroy communities, threaten people’s lives, and subvert the political process so that corporations could make an extra buck for bribing judges and politicians with?

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