FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky lawmakers have rejected putting
more restrictions on mining companies that blast off mountaintops
to expose rich coal deposits.
The so-called mountaintop removal mining has been a mainstay of
the state's economy since the industrial revolution.
Political leaders have historically turned a blind eye to the
environmental devastation, fearing that a crackdown might put
thousands of miners out of work. But a groundswell of opposition to
mountaintop removal mining had some legislators taking a stand.
A proposal that would have effectively ended the practice failed
to get enough votes on Tuesday to make it out of the House
Appropriations and Revenue Committee.
The legislation is House Bill 569.
Coal industry leaders said the “Stream Saver Bill” would have destroyed the industry.
Supporters said it would prevent environmental devastation.
Thousands are expected at a pro-coal rally Thursday at the state capitol.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)