Mountaintop Removal Debate Continues

By: Kimberly Burcham Email
By: Kimberly Burcham Email

Mountaintop removal is the hot topic across the state, especially here in eastern Kentucky.

This comes after an anti-mountaintop removal rally led by Kentucky native and actress Ashley Judd in Frankfort.

Mckinley Sumner, a Kentuckian for the Commonwealth, went to the march at the state capital Tuesday. He took our Kimberly Burcham for a walk on his Perry County property where he has an up close view of mountaintop removal.

“When I see all this behind me? I think it's just terrible this has happened. I don't think God would want this to be happening,” Sumner said.

Sumner says this form of coal mining is destroying our environment.

“When you do take it away you're never going to get it back,” Sumner said.

Haven King, with the group "Coal Mining Our Future," says you do get it back. He says that the reclaimed sites are home to plenty of plant-life and animals.

“They need to come, anytime they want to come. Call me, and I'll take them and show them what animals are,” King said.

King says he fears, with so many protestors, the future of mountain top removal isn't looking in the coal industry's favor.

“If we don't stand and stand together, mark this down, they will eliminate mountaintop removal,” King said.

That's why king says, supporters may be rallying at our nations capital soon.

Proposed legislation would bar coal companies from filling valleys with the soil and rock from mountaintops.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by chris Location: hazard on Aug 22, 2009 at 07:51 PM
    I am a recent employee that has just lost my job because of the ignorance of tree huggers. They hound us, and force companys to shut down. My family was supported by what I know how to do, and that is mining coal. Who would like to PAY ME 70,000 A YEAR AND FULL INSURANCE THAT A FAMILY COULD ONLY DREAM OF. Please tell me cause now thanks to the ingnorance of the protestors im living on unemployment strugling to keep what my family already has. Its so hard trying to tell your kids that u cant afford to stop and get a happy meal because some sorry tree hugger would rather for me to lose my job than to mine a mountain and replace it with land that animals could have a place to roam we never had anything back when my grandfather was a young man now we have deer, elk, rabbits, qual, and many others . If mining companys didn't pay tax isentives lexington and louisville would have nothing. take that money and put it into my home-town and give us better jobs. and places to shop.
  • by linda Location: wv on Jul 9, 2009 at 05:13 PM
    I think its sad that everyone is going after the coal companys When there are so many shopping centers going up on those same mountains at least the mines try to put something back when there done and they do provide more jobs and less cost to the people and the people who make millions would not understand that
  • by Jeanelle Location: Ft. Thomas, KY on Mar 27, 2009 at 04:26 PM
    One of the nicest things about KY is the mountains, once they are gone - what is left? KY needs to be proud of what is is and can be, not be a representative of what can happen.
  • by Mike Location: Morehead on Mar 1, 2009 at 10:41 PM
    Coal has done so much for us! We should be thankful! Look at the status of our health, education and welfare in E.Ky. Without coal we would be the most poverty-stricken, illiterate, sickly, depressed, drug-addicted...ooops.
  • by Kim Location: Hazard on Feb 21, 2009 at 10:05 PM
    Wish Ashley Judd would stick to making horrible movies and leave our community alone. What we once considered a native we now wish would get out. Take her on a tour of the after product and don't just show the now. I would almost rather have Diane Sawyer come for a visit than Ashley Judd now (and that's sad).
  • by me Location: rite here on Feb 20, 2009 at 01:26 PM
    I think we need to draw a check like tree hugger bill hill. the point is they are to many tree huggers on here.YOU DONT LIKE IT TURN YOUR CHEK OR LEAVE I DONT LIKE PEOPLE THAT DONT LIKE COAL. FRIENDS OF COAL AN COALMINNERS
  • by William Location: seky on Feb 20, 2009 at 12:52 PM
    Energy for the nation is in the back yards of the undesireable hillbillys that live here,UNITE is removeing medical care for the sick,taking away life supporting medicine,The Government wants seky to become a differnt land scape, for world powerful people,Just a coal miner working each day in a mine shaft is not enough to fullfill the needs of the rich, They want the whole mountain, level down so they can rebuilt appalachia like United Arab Emirates,Kentucky has mild winters,and nice summers,Kentucky is not a coastal region, its heart land of America, it has trillions in the ground,you think that the Government is going to allow a few trailors up a hollow to stop them from strip mining? the value of a regions culture and history is not as important as the wealth that can be got from the mountains, Is that why seky is almost a medical police state attacking Doctors and the sick in appalacia? to make life so bothersome that some die some go to prison and the young forget there past ??
  • by me Location: rite here on Feb 19, 2009 at 10:04 PM
    this is to bill hill u must not know what u talkin about we got deep mines all over the place when the deep mines are through then they strip it so quit being a tree hugger an enjoy the power that coal brangs to u. an if we was goin for this we must not need no power or heat plus jobs. I think we all need to draw a check like bill hill sit an complain
  • by todd Location: hazard on Feb 19, 2009 at 07:50 PM
    Let Miss Judd start living like the Amish without electricity! Where does she think it comes from? Tree huggin idiots! The fumes from her nail polish are just as harmful to the air and the environment as burning coal!
  • by Y. L. Laerkcusu Location: God's Former Country on Feb 19, 2009 at 02:14 PM
    There are many alternatives to clean coal via mountain top removal as a way to address both environmental and of course employment opportunities in the energy industry. In fact, here’s a talking point in the green jobs debate: The wind industry now employs more people than coal mining in the United States. Looking at a report from the American Wind Energy Association released last Tuesday, jobs in the wind industry jobs jumped to 85,000 in 2008, a 70% increase from the previous year, . In contrast, the coal industry mining employs about 81,000 workers. (Those figures are from a 2007 U.S. Department of Energy report but coal employment has remained steady in recent years though it’s down by nearly 50% since 1986.) Wind industry employment includes 13,000 manufacturing jobs concentrated in regions of the country hard hit by the deindustrialization of the past two decades. And if you want to see the benefits of mountain top removal I suggest a trip to Kayford Mountain, W.V

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