Mountaintop Removal Never Ended: Coal River Mountaineers Fight On – by Jeff Biggers (Huffington Post – October 17, 2016)

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/

Standing in solidarity with the water protectors on the Standing Rock Sioux Nation, Coal River Mountain residents already fending off seven square miles of devastating mountaintop removal mining permits are planning a protest on Monday at the Department of Environmental Protection in Charleston, West Virginia against pending permits for a possible expansion of operations by formerly bankrupt Alpha Natural Resources.

Yes, Virginia, in 2016 formerly bankrupt coal companies continue to blast away historic Coal River Mountain and adjacent communities. Let’s call it morally bankrupt.

And while the presidential campaigns trade “war on coal” slogans, no candidate and few reporters have made a single mention of one of the most egregious environmental crimes and civil rights violations in our lifetimes: The enduring health crisis of residents living amid the fallout of mountaintop removal operations.

Mountaintop removal mining in Appalachia has never ended — despite decades of local campaigns and a historic petition last year of 200,000 signatures for a moratorium until the federal government could carry out a basic health assessment.

Sure, mining has declined, due to natural gas competition, but mountaintop removal mining has never ended—despite the documented health crisis and cancer link from millions of pounds of strip mining explosives, silica dust, and contamination of waterways from pulverized heavy metals.

And Coal River mountaineers living in the toxic ruins of the coal industry, with few resources, continue to fight harder and finish off the outlaw ranks of Big Coal, in the words of Goldman Prize recipient Judy Bonds, until they bring an end to this “war on Appalachia.”

For the rest of this article, click here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeff-biggers/mountaintop-removal-never_b_12518296.html

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