Front Porch Blog

To Hell with Almost Heaven?

Last Thursday, activists with the Rainforest Action Network showed up at the headquarters of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, chained themselves to one another and began blasting a special edit of “Take me Home, Country Roads.” Their take on John Denver’s classic included intermittent sounds of the earth- and nerve-shattering explosives used during mountaintop removal coal mining practiced in Appalachia.

The protest was organized in response to the EPA’s recent approval of Arch Coal’s major new mountaintop removal operation in Logan County, W.Va. The approved Pine Creek Strip Mine would impact over two MILES of already-suffering headwater streams, create three new valley fills (each over 40 acres), and further endanger local communities already contending with increased flooding due to strip mining. As deforestation on the Arch Coal mine site would continue to dismantle an important global carbon sink, the mine itself would produce over 14 million tons of coal, which when burned in power plants, would contribute over 40 million tonnes of carbon dioxide greenhouse gas pollution to the planet’s atmosphere.

RAN’s Scott Parkin’s explains:

We’re sitting down inside the EPA to demand the EPA stand up to protect Appalachia’s precious drinking water, historic mountains and public health from the devastation of mountaintop removal. At issue here is not whether mountaintop removal mining is bad for the environment or human health, because we know it is and the EPA has said it is. At issue is whether President Obama’s EPA will do something about it. So far, it seems it is easier to poison Appalachia’s drinking water than to defy King Coal.

Click HERE to see more photos of the protest.




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