The White House is expected to announce a stricter rule for the disposal of mountaintop-removal mining waste into streams. Some Republicans in Congress are describing the move as the latest campaign in the Obama administration’s “war on coal.” The House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, which has jurisdiction over mining, has been holding hearings and calling the rule a job killer. The chairman, Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., backs a measure by West Virginia Republican Rep. Alex Mooney, which would block the Interior Department’s Office of Surface Mining from implementing the rule, calling for a study within two years, then a year of review, before any new stream protections. By that point there would be a new president in the White House and different leadership at the Office of Surface Mining that could be friendlier to the coal industry.
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The Appalachian Communities Health Emergency Act is the first law ever proposed that would end the human rights/ human health disaster that is Mountaintop Removal in Appalachia. The New York Times called Mountaintop Removal "Appalachia's Agony." It's no wonder: communities near Mountaintop Removal sites suffer shockingly disproportionate levels of cancer, heart disease, pulmonary disease, birth defects and other physical and mental illnesses. More than four thousand people die in West Virginia mining communities every year. Science calls these "excess deaths." We call them Husband, Wife, Grampa, Granma, Brother, Sister, Son, Daughter, Aunt, Uncle, Cousin. Mountaintop Removal's horrors MUST end, and you have a vital role to play in ending it. Get your member of Congress to sign on to the A.C.H.E. Act now.
LEXINGTON, KY — Today, national and Kentucky groups argued their challenge to a proposed Kentucky mountaintop removal mine in federal appeals court. Kentuckians For The Commonwealth and Sierra Club Cumberland Chapter, represented by Earthjustice, Appalachian Mountain Advocates, and Appalachian Citizens’ Law Center, made their case against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ approval of Leeco Inc.’s proposed Stacy Branch mountaintop removal mine before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. The groups are challenging the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ position that it can ignore human health risks when it decides whether to permit a mountaintop removal coal mine. Earthjustice attorney Neil Gormley presented the oral arguments on behalf of the groups.
By Staff of The Intelligencer - FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — A former strip mine would be converted into a solar farm under a proposal announced Tuesday by an Appalachian coal company that says it wants to place hundreds of thousands of panels in the Kentucky mountains. The Berkeley Energy Group, EDF Renewable Energy and former Democratic state Auditor Adam Edelen said they are looking at two mountaintop removal sites just outside of Pikeville in the heart of Kentucky’s coal country. It’s the latest example of efforts to diversify the energy output of the nation’s third-largest coal producing state, which has been hit hard by the economic impact of the declining coal industry. Last month, the state legislature voted to end the state’s decades-long moratorium on nuclear energy. And earlier this month, the Kentucky Coal Museum installed solar panels on its roof. “We can build solar on the foundation of coal,” Edelen said. “Kentucky has long been an energy producer that has powered the entire country. There’s no reason why we can’t continue to be that, but we have to adopt an all of the above energy strategy.”