The Human Cost of Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining

With our new report mapping the human cost of mountaintop removal coal mining and a nationwide campaign through, we’re telling the Obama Administration “No More Excuses, End Mountaintop Removal Now.”

Since the president took office, more than 20 peer-reviewed studies have concluded that mountaintop removal coal mining contributes to significantly higher rates of birth defects, cancer, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases among individuals living in the region where it occurs.

Shortly after winning the election in 2008, President Obama said:

“Science holds the key to our survival as a planet and our security and prosperity as a nation … It’s about listening to what our scientists have to say, even when it’s inconvenient – especially when it’s inconvenient.”

But his administration has not yet lived up to its commitment to science-based decision-making when it comes to mountaintop removal.

More than 500 of the nation’s oldest mountains have already been destroyed and every day mountaintop removal is allowed to continue, the impacts of air and water pollution on human health grow worse. As many as 60,000 additional cases of cancer in Central Appalachia are directly linked to mountaintop removal, and more than 700 additional deaths from heart disease occur every year due to the practice.

It’s clearer than ever that the health and socioeconomic inequalities in Central Appalachia cannot fully be addressed so long as mountaintop removal coal mining continues. Please join us in telling the Obama Administration there are no excuses to legitimize the destruction of the Appalachian Mountains — and there never have been.