Capitol Protesters Call For End To Mountaintop Mining

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Hundreds of protesters are urging
lawmakers to pass a bill that could curb what they say is a
devastating form of coal mining that obliterates mountaintops.
People from across the state stood outside the Capitol on
Thursday, singing songs and making speeches against mountaintop
removal coal mining. They called on Kentucky lawmakers to pass
legislation that would significantly slow mountaintop mining by
preventing coal companies from pushing dirt and rock into valleys
Mountaintop removal mining is a process in which peaks are
leveled with explosives and heavy machinery to extract the coal.
Similar legislation has been proposed in the General Assembly
before, but has not gained traction.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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  • by Toby Location: Berea on Feb 15, 2008 at 09:24 AM
    The coal industry has a stanglehold on the people of Eastern KY. After over 100 years of mining, the region is still mired in poverty. Efforts to curb illegal, destructive mining methods are not an attempt to deprive anyone of jobs. While coal has helped many families economically, the over-all cost of coal has harmed many others. It is not merely about "pretty" mountains. It is about the destruction of a diverse ecosystem and the burying of hundreds of miles of headwater streams that provide water for much of the state. When our rivers dry up because the streams that feed them have been buried, will anyone question why the coal companies were not stopped sooner? The economies of the coal counties would be better served if more government money was spent supporting companies involved with alternative energy options and less on payouts to the coal companies. Our elected officials are owned by the coal industry. They need to wise up and begin to address the needs of the people they serve
  • by Rebecca Location: Leslie County on Feb 14, 2008 at 02:57 PM
    My brother is a strip miner and so was our father and grandfather. Strip mining coal has clothed, sheltered, and has been feeding my family since it began and I will never speak out against it. However I do understand concerns of protesters and can see some of their points, but before trying to put a stop to a way of life for thousands of men, think of their families. With poor job growth in southeast KY where are those men to go? It will leave thousands of families struggling even harder to make it through already difficult times. So before calling to the slowing and end of strip mining, protest for job development that will ensure those men a way to take care of their families.
  • by Karen Location: Berea on Feb 14, 2008 at 02:50 PM
    Everyone knows that mountaintop removal destroys ecosystems, pollutes water and creates unsafe conditions for all manner of living creatures within several miles. Will KY legislators be brave enough to say "no" to big coal $$ and enact meaningful, mountain-preserving legislation? I'm not holding my breath. But, I'll bet if a senator or house rep had to drink some water that was polluted from these practices, he/she would get off their rumps and finally pass ethical laws.
  • by Crystal on Feb 14, 2008 at 01:37 PM
    We need money, jobs and to get a hold on our energy concerns. Pretty mountains are not what is important right now people. Actually surviving in this country right now, is important. Furthermore, the people that go on about these pretty mountains would not choose to live here. They want poor folks to continue looking at the pretty mountains while they suffer, remain in poverty, and have our country be forever dependant on foreign countries. Wake up people -- the world is what we made it; you sometimes have to sacrifice beauty when your country is over-populated and in tremendous debt. We can't hide under the covers forever.


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