Finally, Washington Frowns on Mountaintop Removal Mining

When the EPA revoked a permit for decapitating West Virginia's mountains, some politicians decided the sky was falling.

At last, a small spark of sanity from Washington. After making a full
scientific assessment of environmental impacts, the EPA has revoked the
permit for the largest mountaintop removal project ever to assault the
natural resources and the people of Appalachia.

Unfortunately, this spark of sanity set off an explosion of babbling
madness by the coal mining giants. Arch Coal, the permit's holder, said
the company was "shocked and dismayed" that the Environmental Protection
Agency would dare revoke it, shrieking that this was an "onslaught" by
an "overreaching" agency that "will have a chilling effect on future
U.S. investments."

Then came West Virginia's corporate-hugging senator, Joe Manchin III.
"It goes without saying," he began, before proceeding to say what
didn't need saying. Parroting Arch Coal's script, the conservative
Democrat called the revocation "a shocking display of overreach" that
"will have a chilling effect on investments." A cabal of non-mining
corporate interests followed suit with a frantic Chicken Little
imitation. The implications of pulling this one permit, they screeched,
will be "staggering" to the whole U.S. economy.

Get a grip, people. This permit should never have been issued in the
first place. It was carelessly handed out by the Bush regime, which was
infested with industry operatives. Now, the EPA has merely done the
responsible environmental assessment that the Bushites refused to do.
Talk about an "onslaught" that would be "shocking," "chilling," and
"staggering"--Bush's permit would have let Arch Coal decapitate all the
mountains in a 2,300-acre stretch of Appalachia, shove the toxic rubble
and waste into the valleys, bury the streams, kill the wildlife, and
pollute the water supply of people downstream.

Mountaintop removal is a brutal, totally destructive abomination done
solely to make quick profits for a handful of coal executives and rich
absentee investors. It's about time these companies were told to stop

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.