Sunday, July 18, 2010

Mountain Top Removal: Protecting Our Streams

© 2010 Albert A Rasch and
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
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Hi Guys,

I haven't visited this topic for some time, and I wanted to touch base with everyone on this.

 Let's get a few things out on the table right quick - facts not opinions.

  • The coal that is being gouged out of the mountains is a high grade, low sulphur, hard coal that is being shipped to China for steel production. It has nothing to do with energy production what-so-ever.
  • By using mountain top removal techniques, the amount of labor required to extract the coal is one twentieth of what was required. So it cost jobs, it doesn't create them.
  • Miles and miles of streams have been buried as the mountains have been flattened, to say nothing of the thousands of acres of hardwood forests that have been destroyed.
I feel very comfortable calling "Bullshit" on anyone that screams about energy independence or jobs when I say we need to stop the rape of the Appalachia.

From my friends at I Love Mountains:

"In late 2008 President Bush's administration gutted the Stream Buffer Zone rule, which protected our nation's streams and waterways from the worst of coal industry abuses.

The old rule was a good rule - but it was never properly enforced. Today, however, instead of reinstating and enforcing the old stream buffer zone rule, the Obama administration is proposing totally new guidelines that would regulate how -- and whether -- America's streams can be filled with waste from mining operations.

But before they'll write the new regulations, the administration has decided to gather information for an Environmental Impact Statement. To that end, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) is requesting your opinion on what requirements a new stream protection rule should include.

Click hear to comment today and demand that our streams stay clean of toxic mining waste:
Comments on stream protection.

This is a tremendous opportunity to make your voice heard on the kind of protections our streams deserve -- before the rule is written.

Please, take just a few minutes today to make sure that your views are taken into account and our streams are protected from the devastation of mountaintop removal coal mining."

Look folks, we all agree that nature needs to be conserved. I don't believe that any of us object to an appropriate use of natural resources in a sustainable fashion. But to destroy countless trout streams, despoil hardwood groves and wild ginseng plots, knock the tops off of mountains... there has to be limits on what is done.

Take a moment and let your voice be heard!

Late Addition! If you need further proof of Massey energy's lies about energy production, I just read about Blankenship's purchase of a West Virginia coal shipping dock that will reduce transportation costs. The purchase is part of Massey Energy's plan to concentrate its efforts on the sale of metallurgical coal to foreign steelmakers! That's from their website by the way.

Related Posts:
Wild Hogs: Not Tough Enough to Face Ol King Coal

Best Regards,
Albert A Rasch
Member Kandahar Tent Club
Member: Hunting Sportsmen of the United States HSUS (Let 'em sue me.)
The Hunt Continues...

The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles


NorCal Cazadora said...

Damn. I'd've thought Obama would do a little better than this on this particular issue. Thanks for staying on this, Albert. It's not an issue here out West, but the rape of our land anywhere is a huge problem.

Albert A Rasch said...


I too thought that this would be an issue that the Obama Administration would have jumped on with glee. But they have been strangely reticent to make any overt move against coal mining interests in general, and Massey Energy in particular.

Blankenship's pockets are deep, very deep, and the power he exerts throughout the region is immense. He spent $3.0 Million of his own money to defeat a West Virginia state Supreme Court justice that was expected to vote to uphold the $50 million award for a small coal company owner, that Massey Energy and Blankenship had driven into bankruptcy.

Consider this: 25 Miners died in a Massey Energy mine in April, and things have been strangely quiet on that once the initial flurry of reporting was done.

Blankenship is also the director of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Blankenship has crafted the Chamber's position against a climate change bill that is supported by other corporate members.

Remember what I have said before, Money Talks!

The rest of us have little more than our wits, perseverence, and blogs to fight with! Drive On With The Mission!!!

Best regards,

Tovar said...

I've never traveled through or lived in mountaintop-removal country. From all I've read and heard, the effects are absolutely devastating. Thanks for calling out the BS when you see it.

I just went over and submitted a comment to OSMRE.

Albert A Rasch said...

And the shame of it is that many of the people most affected by it, the residents of the Appalachian Mountain region, support the practice because as they say, thats where the jobs are.

I just had a heated arguement with someone here in AFGHANISTAN, because of the very same subject. She refused to accept that the MTR process was devastating the region. "But what about the jobs?" she wailed. Even the facts refused to sway her...

Best regards,
Albert "Why do I subject myself to this?" Rasch
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles: Charged! Hog Hunting at its Finest