Sen. Manchin takes new view of mountaintop removal coal mining


Thom Kay, Senior Legislative Representative,, 828-262-1500

At a confirmation hearing today for the nominee to head the Office of Surface Mining and Reclamation Enforcement, Sen. Joe Manchin asked nominee Lanny Erdos to commit to revive a National Academies of Sciences study on mountaintop removal coal mining and its impacts on human health. The study had been halted by the White House in 2017.

While asking the question, Sen. Manchin offered a new position on mountaintop removal mining.
“I have come around on utilizing mountaintop mining removal methods and I think the method has exceeded its useful life.”

The following is a statement from Thom Kay:
“Mountaintop removal has had a devastating impact on the region’s economy, ecology and communities for decades. We are incredibly pleased to hear Sen. Manchin recognize that mountaintop removal has no place in West Virginia, and we look forward to continuing to work with him to carry the region into a future of economic resilience and shared prosperity.”


Mountaintop removal mining has destroyed well over 500 Appalachian mountains and more than 2,000 miles of streams and rivers. And researchers have linked increased health ailments including cancer, lung and heart disease, and birth defects to the aggressive form of strip mining. Visit our End Mountaintop Removal webpage for more.