Strip Mining in the Appalachians

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Strip mining has forever altered the Appalachian landscape by cutting off mountaintops to get at low sulfur deposits more cheaply and safely than underground mining allows. Now, after 20 years of dumping the debris into neighboring valleys, a federal judge has ruled that disposal violates the Clean Air Act, which prohibits depositing "waste" near waterways. But with half of America's energy generated by coal, and such mining judged efficient and safe, residents are split over immediate economic needs and long-term consequences of recreating the place they live. Are we destroying Appalachia in order to save it? We hear more from a third-generation coal miner, an industry spokeswoman, a public interest environmentalist, and the head of Kentucky's Appalachian policy and development office.
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Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles

Clean Air Act


Kentuckians for the Commonwealth

Kentucky Appalachian Commission

National Mining Association

US Army Corps of Engineers

Reuters News Service

UN's Economic and Social Council

UN's Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues



Warren Olney