• News
  • Celebrities
  • Finance
  • Crypto
  • Travel
  • Entertainment
  • Health
  • Others

Coal Exec: Let Us Blow Up the Appalachians or We’ll All Be Speaking Chinese

By all accounts, it was quite a show last night in Charleston, W.Va., where Don Blankenship, president of Virginia-based Massey Energy, squared off against environmental lawyer Robert F. Kennedy Jr. over the hot-button (and increasingly high-profile) topic of mountaintop coal mining. But the money quote, via the Charleston Gazette, comes from Blankenship:

“The mission statement for coal is prosperity for this country,” Blankenship told a packed house at the University of Charleston. “This industry is what made this country great and if we forget that, we’re going to have to learn to speak Chinese.”

He has a point: Coal is cheap, and more than 50 percent of the nation’s electricity is generated from it. But the critics aren’t arguing against the importance of coal, they’re arguing against the destructive method by which the industry is harvesting it in Appalachia. And those are two different things.

The Gazette’s Ken Ward Jr. has been following this topic for years, and has the debate rundown here and here. (And for real devotees, West Virginia Public Broadcasting has the full audio here.)

For those unfamiliar with mountaintop removal, the gist of the issue is this: Coal companies have learned that they can save time and money by blowing the tops off of the Appalachian Mountains — the oldest range in the country and among the oldest in the world — in order to reach the seams of coal contained inside. The heavy machinery used in the process means that the companies need fewer laborers; and lax enforcement of environmental laws, both federal and state, has allowed companies to dump the waste into adjacent stream valleys, which saves the cost of trucking it to more distant dumping sites. That the process violates the Clean Water Act has been no problem in the eyes of West Virginia’s powerful Democrats.

The industry argues that this process creates much needed jobs in a downtrodden part of the country — ignoring the inconvenient fact that harvesting the coal by other methods would create even more jobs. Environmentalists, for their part, say that mountaintop removal comes at the too-high cost of poisoning waterways, contaminating air, killing off wildlife and flooding nearby homes.

“This is the worst environmental crime that has ever happened in our history,” Kennedy said. “These companies are liquidating this state for cash with these gigantic machines.”

The 90-minute debate wasn’t going to change any minds among the hundreds of miners and environmentalists in attendance. But as ABC News accurately noted, “the real audience extends far beyond West Virginia and central Appalachia; it’s the millions of Americans who don’t know a strip mine from a slurry impoundment, but whose anger or acceptance of mountaintop mining could tip the political balance one way or the other.”

Indeed, the more exposure this issue gets, the tougher it will be for Washington lawmakers to accept the decimation of the country’s oldest mountain range.

Discussion & Comments (0)

    Recent Articles

    • Things You Should Know about North America

      Things You Should Know about North America

      Get to know more about North America.

    • Eurovision 2010 Paula Seling Unpredictable Contest

      Eurovision 2010 Paula Seling Unpredictable Contest

      Paula Seling's experience on the Eurovision stage led her to declare that "Eurovision is an unpredictable contest". Which may explain the success of the young Lena from Germany, about whom the predictions before the event did not offer much chances for victory.

    • VIPRow.me - The Best Sports Streaming Website Today

      VIPRow.me - The Best Sports Streaming Website Today

      Have you ever contemplated creating a user-friendly site dedicated to sports-related free live streaming channels?

    • Learn How To Download, Install, And Use The Xnxubd 2022 Frame App

      Learn How To Download, Install, And Use The Xnxubd 2022 Frame App

      XNXUBD 2022 Nvidia users are able to watch thousands of videos and other contents online. XNXUBD 2022 Nvidia New is a piece of software that enables people to watch videos online without having to pay for memberships. On a graphics card, the XNXubd also provides some of the best gaming and virtual reality experiences.

    • Xvideostudio Video Editor Apk Free Download For Pc Full Version In 2022

      Xvideostudio Video Editor Apk Free Download For Pc Full Version In 2022

      A new edition of the Video Editor Apk for xVideostudio.Video Studio has all the latest features, including support for multiple video download formats in HD, FHD, and even 4K resolutions.

    • 9 Best Lotion For Masturbation - Popular Choice For 2022

      9 Best Lotion For Masturbation - Popular Choice For 2022

      Masturbation is a common activity for men and women. It's a natural and risk-free way to explore your body, experience pleasure, and release sexual tension.

    • Reasons Why You Need To Stop Watching Movies From Sflix

      Reasons Why You Need To Stop Watching Movies From Sflix

      Without having to sign up or pay anything, you can watch movies online for free with SFlix. It has more than 10,000 movies and television shows.

    • Coi Leray Mom And Dad's Family History & Wife, Explained

      Coi Leray Mom And Dad's Family History & Wife, Explained

      Coi Leray Collins (born May 11, 1997) is a rapper from the United States. Leray started publishing songs to SoundCloud in 2014, and in 2018 she released her breakthrough track "Huddy" as well as her first mixtape, Everythingcoz.

    • Listen And Download Music On MyFreeMP3 For Free

      Listen And Download Music On MyFreeMP3 For Free

      Are you in a bind and looking for a place to obtain free mp3 songs? Never again will you need to bother, since this article has everything necessary to obtain your solution. Download free music from MyfreeMP3.com, one of the world's most popular websites.