photo via RAN
Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship resurfaced today at the National Press Club to tout the virtues of coal, a substance James Hansen refers to as the "single-most climate-wrecking fuel there is." RAN activists met him there, and held up three large signs to great the coal baron and climate change denier that read: "Massey Coal: Not Clean, Safe, or Forever." Blankenship company is responsible for the April 5 Upper Big Branch mine explosion in which 29 miners died. Massey is also among the country's leaders in mountaintop removal, the practice of blowing the tops of mountains to get to the coal buried inside. The method devastates communities and water networks. Massey mined about 20% of all MTR coal in 2009.
Said Amanda Starbuck of the Rainforest Action Network:
"Massey is the BP of the coal industry: reckless, arrogant and an obstacle to the clean energy future that the president and the country is calling for. The bottom line is that clean, safe and forever are three words that Massey Energy can never credibly say."
According to RAN, "Since 1992, nearly 2,000 miles of Appalachian streams have been filled at a rate of 120 miles per year with toxic surface mining waste. The estimated scale of deforestation from existing Appalachian surface mining operations is equivalent in size to the state of Delaware."
In January, 12 scientists from around the country published an article in the journal Science and argued that MTR should end. Article lead author Dr. Margaret Palmer of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science said:
"The scientific evidence of the severe environmental and human impacts from mountaintop mining is strong and irrefutable. Its impacts are pervasive and long lasting and there is no evidence that any mitigation practices successfully reverse the damage it causes."
More on MTR:
Scientists Say Mountaintop Removal Mining Should Be Banned - No Remediation Ever Enough
Feds Looking Into Charges Against Massey For Upper Big Branch Mine