Mountaintop mining should be stopped

April 24, 2013, the Marietta Times ran article by Vicki Smith stating the Appeals court upheld the decision by the EPA to block a procedure done during mountaintop mining which would have buried nearly seven miles of streams. On the same page was an article by Kevin Begos “Quakers protest PNC mountaintop removal financing”

That same evening my husband and I attended a meeting in Marietta sponsored by the Friends showing a film “Mountaintop Mining”. I knew it was late but I sent an e-mail to Representative David McKinley inviting him to attend. I heard about the meeting from an announcement in the Times. However, no one from the paper or TV station was present.

If one has never seen what has happened to over 500 mountains in Kentucky, West Virginia and Virginia, this film will help you understand why this is morally wrong. Not only do the coal companies cut the trees, push them over the mountain side, they use huge amounts of TNT to remove the soil and rocks on top of the coal. Then they push this over the mountain side into the streams and valleys below. Since most of the work is done by huge earthmoving machines, the coal companies do not hire many local people. Job destroyers not creators.

What do you think that valley looks like after this? Well, when it rains flooding occurs frequently and is much more devastating than before the mining. I wrote a letter concerning this issue back in 2012. Many small towns are dwindling in population. Some only have one or two people remaining.

Now I learn that Senators Manchin and Rockefeller are co-sponsoring a bill to keep the EPA from “retroactively vetoing permits to protect energy production, economic growth and job creation.”. They have reached across the aisle and have support of Senator Rob Portman from Ohio, as well as Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), John Hoeven (R-ND), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), and David Vitter (R-LA).” Most of these have received big monies from coal and oil companies.

Somehow we can find money to build new and bigger cancer centers, but not find the money to construct wind farms and place solar panels on our buildings. Why do we have so much cancer in this area? Just possibly could it be from the air we breathe and the water we drink?

The Senate is not moving on approving Gina McCarthy for leader of the EPA because ???

I’ve sent letters to Senators Manchin, Rockefeller and Portman expressing my great concern about their plan to weaken the EPA. It needs to be strengthened.

Margaret Meeker