Gubernatorial Candidate Talks About Mountaintop Removal

By: Danielle Morgan Email
By: Danielle Morgan Email

The mountains became the center of attention in an announcement by one gubernatorial candidate.

Jonathan Miller says the state needs to reform mountaintop removal.

It's the shock factor that often stirs talk of how to handle mountain top removal, it's the same factor that candidate for Governor Jonathan Miller wants to learn much more about.

"There could be some destruction but there also could be some remediation of what is destroyed, so it can be returned to its natural status," Miller said.

Some leaders in the mountains see the issue in an economic way.

Mayor Bill Gorman can list dozens of reasons why Hazard wouldn't have the jobs and economy it does now, without the controversial way of construction.

"If you take an acre of ground in it, Kentucky right now that's been leveled off it's worth at least half million dollars an acre," Gorman said.

Beside of the leveled business areas, you also see debris mounting, that's what concerns Kentuckians for the commonwealth the most.

"We're paying for the economic development at the cost of our future, that's our water, and mountain top removal is burring our streams<" Terri Blanton said.

The battle is often focused on a choice: a healthy environment versus economic development, but a study by the University of Kentucky, is hopeful of making a way to have both. The Star-Fire Coal Operation is also the site of research where they've found a way to fully reclaim strip mine land.

Restoring the forests, is just one way Miller says he wants to make Kentucky a national leader.

"I would like to make Kentucky the clean energy capital of the world, we've got the beauty, the bounty to do so," Miller said.

The Kentuckians for the Commonwealth will be holding an "I Love Mountains" rally on Wednesday in Frankfort.


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