CNN – Coal River Mountain
Today, CNN.com posted a story about the impending destruction of Coal River Mountain. An excerpt and link to the full story are below:
RALIEGH COUNTY, West Virginia (CNN) — Lorelei Scarboro loves to talk about the wild turkeys and bears living on West Virginia’s Coal River Mountain.
She watches them from the home her husband built when they were first married. But Scarboro is convinced it could all become a casualty of blasting that could begin on the mountaintop which is just 100 yards from the family cemetery where her husband is buried.
“Everything I have here is at risk,” said Scarboro whose father, grandfather and husband all worked as coal miners.
About 470 mountain tops in Appalachia, including the one next to Coal River, have been destroyed. Mountaintop removal mining is faster and cheaper than underground mining but its impact on the environment is much worse.
“I know there is a right way and a wrong way to mine coal and mountain top removal is the most destructive practice they can do,” said Scarboro, now a member of the Coal River Mountain Watch.
Mountaintop mining is legal and became more prevalent six years ago when federal laws were relaxed. During the mining process, miners blast the mountain and shear off the top ridges to extract layers of coal. From the air the affected mountains appear flat, gray and dusty with rubble sliding down into the valleys and streams.