Photo via OHVEC
Protests have been springing up more and more against the practice of mountaintop removal mining--where, basically a mountaintop is simply clear cut of trees and blown off with explosives to get at the coal seams underneath. In the process, we pollute the surrounding area, contaminate drinking water, and oh, yeah blow the tops off mountains. The likes of Darryl Hannah and James Hansen have been arrested protesting the atrocious practice. And now, it's the coal miners' turn.Rather, it's the entire coal industry's turn--leading voices in the coal industry have announced that Tennessee is hostile towards mountaintop removal mining and should be avoided because a Republican senator in the state has co-sponsored a bill that would effectively end the destructive practice.
As a result, coal miners have been boycotting the entire state of Tennessee.
From the AP:
Angry Appalachian coal miners are refusing to vacation in Tennessee because they say one of that state's political leaders wants to eliminate needed jobs by banning mountaintop removal.But it's gone from anger and resentment at the state to a full blown movement. From the NRDC:
Citizens for Coal is organizing the protest -- calling on miners in Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia and Virginia to avoid spending tourist dollars in neighborhing Tennessee. Roger Horton,director of Citizens for Coal, thinks if enough people forgo trips to the Great Smokey Mountains and to popular tourist destinations around Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, including Dollywood, that Alexander would feel pressure to abandon the legislation.So what does the senator, Lamar Alexander, have to say about all the ruckus? Basically, he says, keep on doing mountaintop removal mining, and you won't have much of a place to visit anyways: (AP)
"Every year, millions of tourists come to Tennessee and spend millions of dollars to see our scenic mountaintops, not to see mountains whose tops have been blown off and dumped into streams," he said. "I believe most Tennesseans agree that we should save our mountaintops."I believe he's right.
More on Mountaintop Removal Mining:
US Circuit Court Overturns Mountaintop Removal Mining Ban
EPA to Regulate Mountaintop Removal Mining More Stringently