22 September 2010

Big Kenny and others demand an end to mountaintop removal mining

As the coal industry brings in buses of employees this week to tell Congress to stop regulating the industry, Big Kenny of country music duo Big & Rich performed at a rally on Capitol Hill against the devastating practice of mountaintop removal coal mining.

At the forefront of those many things that are affecting our physical environment, mountaintop strip mining has to stand as one of the most unnecessary pervasive human undertakings. I understand the need to globally compete with countries like Russia, who are churning out resources to meet the growing demand of countries in the developing world like China, and through a barrage of corporate PR spin, the mining companies are doing so to keep Americans working but, I say at what cost do you try to keep a job that is poisoning communities and giving little in return other than a hundred years of remediation?

One small contingent of celebrities including Big Kenny of Big and Rich, Sheryl Crow, Emmylou Harris, Dave Matthews—who all took part in Natural Resources Defense Council’s Music Saves Mountains—and a number of concerned citizens from throughout Kentucky and West Virginia are bringing attention through fundraisers and public awareness campaigns about the physical and spiritual impact this little-used method actually wrought on Appalachian communities. In trying to prevent it from spreading as a practice, thousands of people from across Appalachia are participating in a large public awareness effort by having a march on Washington DC for Appalachia Rising, Sept 25-26.

“With the future of America’s oldest mountains at stake, it is time we all say ’Enough!’ and tell President Obama and Congress to stop this from happening once and for all,” Big Kenny said.

According to reports less than 7 percent of all coal mining is done domestically, yet its cost to local communities and the environment is lasting and devastating. If mining can be done in such a way that it can prevent such cancers like Mesothelioma and not destroy our environments by polluting the water and destroying the communities only then would I support the practice of mountaintop removal coal mining.

Jill Paschal | @VegCookin
Jill is the owner of the online vegan bookstore VegCookin. She is a continuing student majoring in Business Management and loves to travel world cultures via cuisine.

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Photo credit: cc: flickr.com/photos/rainforestactionnetwork