Magazine article New Internationalist

Moving Mountains in Kentucky

Magazine article New Internationalist

Moving Mountains in Kentucky

Article excerpt

Citizens of Kentucky celebrated Valentine's Day by professing their love for mountains. On February 14, more than 1,000 people demonstrated outside Governor Steven Beshear's office in Frankfort, Kentucky in support of clean energy legislation and reducing the state's dependency on coal. Last October, Beshear joined the powerful Kentucky Coal Association to sue the federal Environmental Protection Agency for enforcing laws that would rein in the environmentally destructive mountaintop removal industry.

Mountaintop mining is prevalent throughout the Appalachian range in the US. First the top of the mountain is removed with explosives. After the coal is extracted, the land is supposed to be 'reclaimed'. Instead the topsoil is usually dumped into valleys and rivers.

'Coal mining has destroyed some of the oldest mountains on earth,' says 'I Love Mountains Day' organizer Teri Blanton. The result is 'tens of thousands of acres of barren land' and 'magnesium, cadmium and other chemicals leaching into the creeks'. …

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