Kentucky gives at least 100 million dollars a year to the mining industry, which provides more than 90 percent of our energy.
Members of the house appropriations committee got a first hand look at the controversial form of mining known as mountaintop removal in eastern Kentucky.
Members of Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, a group opposed to mountaintop removal mining say the age of coal is over, and it's time to start looking for alternative and renewable forms of energy here in Kentucky.
Supporters of the common form of surface mining say without mountaintop removal, development in eastern Kentucky would be nearly impossible.
It's a common sight around Eastern Kentucky, thousands of sites where there used to be a mountain. For many, it's the only way to support industry, but others say it's destroying our homeland.
“Mountaintop mining is just one method of mining, and it's the most destructive,” Doug Doerrfield said.
Kentuckians for the Commonwealth held several presentations and led members of the House Appropriations and Revenue Committee to an active mountaintop removal site.
They want the legislators to see first hand, the effects of surface mining on the community and the environment.
“Once these mountains are scalped and covered with grass, you lose 98% of the biodiversity that was here,” Doerrfield said.
Supporters of surface mining say, flat land would not exist in Eastern Kentucky without it.
“If it had not been for mountaintop removal and surface mining in the Hazard area for example we would not have had the hospital, we would not have had the land to put the hospital on, the subdivisions near the hospital, the airport,” Bill Caylor said.
Kentuckians for the Commonwealth ultimately hope for an immediate end to all mountaintop removal mining in the area