Category Archives: mountaintop removal coal mining

The EPA and stopping the Spruce (rape-the-Earth) mine

Good editorial here on the EPA’s recent decision to rescind the permit for a mountaintop removal coal mine in West Virginia that would have continued the criminal-like burying of natural streams with the mining rubble.

EPA appeals W.Va. coal mine ruling

The EPA finally got around to saying no to a mountaintop removal coal mine and then a judge twists it all around. Meanwhile, the damage continues and continues and certain politicians can  only carp about jobs. Pretty damn sad. You can read about the EPA’s latest decision right here.

Dr. James Hansen: Game over for world’s climate

The director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies is plain spoken and we’d all better believe what he says and writes. There is no getting around it. We either deal with our fossil fuel addiction now, or we make the planet uninhabitable for generations to come. Dr. Hansen’s op-ed essay from today’s NY Times can be read here.

Spring gets ahead of itself – humans activities to blame

Activities like burning coal; driving cars with engines fueled by gasoline; logging trees off public land just for the hell of it; and much, much more. Read the sorrowful tale of how humans are changing what the Creator gave us.

Stop the presses: Mountaintop removal does indeed harm streams

Surprise, surprise. So, will this study that confirms what conservationists have been saying for decades actually lead to legislation that stops the removal of Appalachian mountaintops? Don’t count on it – sadly.

With deaths of forests, world losing climate protectors

This in-depth science feature, from the NYT, spells it out in quiet detail. I wish, though, that the authors of the feature had also talked about how sprawl development and attendant road-building is fragmenting and destroying native forests. Hell, I saw this kind of thing going on all the time while living in northeastern Pennsylvania, a region that had already lost much of its native forests from anthracite coal-mining stripping operations over the decades. And still, the public motors on as is if there is no harm to their carbon dioxide-creating activities.

EPA chief stands firm as tough new air rules coming

This report about Lisa Jackson and her agency, the Environmental Protection Agency, is fine as far as writing goes, but it features all the usual cliches one read in scuh pieces: “burdensome regulations,” “economic cost,” etc. Hey, neighbors, there won’t be any economy at all if humans don’t clean up their act when it comes to greenhouse gases and a whole range of other environmental glitches.

Study finds more health problems among residents near mountaintop removal mines

This study’s findings are hardly surprising, given the many other ramifications of blowing up mountains to get at the coal beneath the summits. In brief, the study adds even more weight to the growing chorus of calls to HALT mountaintop removal coal mining and do so right now.

The lowdown on Senator James Inhofe, denier-in-chief

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OIL) claims hydraulic fracturing has “never” contaminated the water supply — one day after spill contaminates stream.

Think Progress has the story on the Senate’s denier-in-chief.

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) is perhaps Congress’ most reliable defender of dirty energy and evangelizer against the “hoax” of global warming. This morning, he took his message to Fox News host Brian Kilmeade’s radio show, where he extolled the virtues of hydraulic fracturing, a method of extracting natural gas known widely as “fracking.” Fracking is a relatively new and untested technique, but Inhofe insisted that there’s nothing to worry about, as he claimed fracking has “never poisoned anyone” nor ever contaminated groundwater:

INHOFE: [There's] never been one case — documented case — of groundwater contamination in the history of the thousands and thousands of hydraulic fracturing. [...]

KILMEADE: Senator, has it ever poisoned anybody?

INHOFE: It’s never poisoned anyone.

While fracking has the potential to create vast new American energy supplies, Inhofe’s claim that it is completely without risk is either stunningly ignorant or intentionally dishonest. Just yesterday, a blowout at a Pennsylvania natural gas well engaged in fracking spilled thousands of gallons of toxic chemical-laced water, “contaminating a stream and forcing the evacuation of seven families who live nearby as crews struggled to stop the gusher,” the AP reported. Inhofe referenced the Pennsylvania spill in his interview, but said that it has “nothing to do with fracking” because it was a stream, not groundwater that was contaminated.

But fracking has contaminated groundwater. As a recent New York Times investigation confirmed, waste from fracking has contaminated groundwater and even drinking water with toxic and radioactive chemicals. The process relies on pumping toxic chemicals deep underground to break rock, and between 2005 and 2009, “hundreds of millions of gallons of hazardous or carcinogenic chemicals” have been pumped into wells. Large amounts of radioactive materialhave been found in water supplies near fracking sites, many Pennsylvanians have gotten sick, the tap water in homes near fracking sites have caught on fire, and a home in Celveland, Ohio, blew up.

It’s worth noting that the oil and gas industry has been Inhofe’s top contributor over his political career, giving him over $450,000 in the last election cycle alone, even though Inhofe wasn’t up for reelection. Inhofe’s single largest campaign donor is oil conglomerate Koch Industries.

– A Think Progress repost.

Visiting the other West Virginia, where mountains no longer stand tall

Oops. They’re being lost to greed, dynamiting, and the trucking away of bituminous coal — all in the name of jobs and energy. Read about the raping of Appalachia. You’ll find it all right here.