Monday, June 02, 2008

Mountaintop Removal Obama Says NO, Hillary Favors Big Coal And the MEDIA is MIA

Above image shows the horrifying destruction caused by Mountaintop-Removal Mining. There should be no question that this practice must be stopped before more mountains are destroyed in Appalachia.

It is frustrating that so few people are aware or care about this destructive practice. This should be at the centre of environmental concerns especially in the United States.
Given the biodiversity and the importance of the forest in Appalachia any major impact on the area in question will eventually have an impact at a Global Environmental level.

The other major concern over this issue is its devastating effects on the health and well being and even the culture of the forgotten peoples who inhabit the Appalachian area.
The impact culturally on these peoples may in fact be a form of genocide under international law. Hillary and others only seem to care about the area when they are in need of votes otherwise these candidates are more concerned with the well-being of Big Coal.

And when it comes to this issue it is disturbing that the Media is in this case Missing In Action

Update Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining

Hillary Clinton commenting on Mountaintop-Removal Mining

" I am concerned about it for all the reasons people state, but I think its a difficult question because of the conflict between the economic and environmental trade-off that you have here.

I'm not an expert. I don't know enough to have an independent opinion, but I sure would like people who could be objective, understanding both the economic necessities and environmental damage to come up with some approach that would enable us to retrieve the coal but would enable us to do it in a way that wouldn't damage the living standards and the other important qualities associated with people living both under the mountaintop and people who are along the streams.

You know, maybe there is a way to recover those mountaintops once they have been stripped of the coal. You know, I think we've got to look at this from a practical perspective. "

And From Appalachian Voice Front Porch March 19, 2008
Hillary Clinton on MTR

First, I am glad to see any Presidential candidate speaking about mountaintop removal. Her answer could have been much better, for sure, but it also could have been much worse.

Secondly, I am disappointed that she is setting up this false dichotomy of “economic necessities” vs “environmental damage.” Mountaintop removal does the same thing to our economy as it does to our mountains. The destruction of one and the destruction of the other go hand in hand.

and further argues that Hillary is possibly being dishonest in claiming that she does not know much about the issue since she has been involved in the issue since at least 2002

Hillary Clinton has sat in on Committee hearings about mountaintop removal since 2002. She should know a thing or two about the issue. She also told folks from the region that she would join them on a flyover of affected areas, but that hasn’t happened either. Although, we’d still be glad to have her.

also see:

David Roberts in his article at Huffington Post argues that Hillary Clinton appears uninformed or is trying to find a middle ground between Big Coal and the Environment and the people of Appalachia.

Hillary Clinton Equivocates on Mountaintop-Removal Mining/ March 19, 2008

Hillary Clinton was asked about mountaintop-removal mining in an interview on West Virginia public radio this morning. Her answer was, in my eyes, terribly disappointing.
But Barack Obama has spoken out against Mountaintop Mining while Hillary Clinton Equivocates and has no real position. She is afraid to say anything negative about the coal industry. As the campaign for Democratic leader grinds on Obama at times also seems to sound more accommodating to Big Coal.

January 12, 2007Obama Says that we MUST find a way around MTR!!!

Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) recently came under heavy fire from some in the environmental community and many in Appalachia for choosing to head up the “Coal-to-Liquids Caucus” with Senator Jim Bunning (R-KY). However, Senator Obama, a Democratic Presidential hopeful, has set himself as a leader of the Presidential pack as far as opposing strip mining and mountaintop removal.

When Appalachian Voices asked Senator Obama about MTR, and whether he supported or opposed strip mining, he said:

"Strip-mining is an environmental disaster!"

The telegenic Presidential hopeful did not stop there. He went on to address mountatintop removal by saying:

"We have to find more environmentally sound ways of mining coal, than simply blowing the tops off mountains."
Also see: Obama on Mountaintop Removal: "We're tearing up the Appalachian Mountains because of fossil fuels"

Too bad only a few people seem to be interested in this environmental issue. Unfortunately environmentalist get side tracked into issues which are more appealing to the public ie the Seal Hunt which is not as urgent an issue as Mountain Top Removal- is it because Mountains are not as easy a sell as Seals or Pandas or Polar Bears or Whales are Mountains not sexy enough are the peoples of the Appalachians not as important as other people negatively affected by similar destructive activities in Burma or the people of the Dam in India -

And from Cyberhillbilly:
Cyberhillbilly: March 25, 2008
Even Hillary Clinton Supports Mountaintop Removal

It must suck to be liberal in Kentucky… even a left winger like Hillary Clinton is 'fur' mountaintop removal as a viable way of mining coal.


It appears Hillary Clinton either sees nothing much wrong with Mountain Top Removal Mining or if we wish to be kind to her it may be that Hillary doesn't understand the enormity of the problem of the technique known as Mountain top Removal Mining as one of the greatest environmental disasters in America which can and will have effects which are global. She also does not seem to understand the negative impact this form of mining is having on Appalachian environment and the peoples of Appalachia. But of course Hillary is not that interested in the mainly poor people of the region . She is though quite sensitive to the wealthy and powerful Coal Industry and their shareholders who at the moment are making a killing . Now to Hillary that is all in the end that matters. That is if other wealthy people such as herself are making money off of this activity whether they are CEO's or shareholders she will not interfere any more than she would interfere with the labor policies of her former employer WalMart. Yes she might be more liberal on some issues such as Health Care than McCain but in the end her true colors as a protector of big industry and the status quo comes shining through.

Hillary does show that she does not understand how devastating the practice of MTR mining has been and will continue to be. Once the Mountain Top is removed it is gone forever or until the next geological age in a hundred thousand years or so or maybe just in a short period of ten thousand years .

And here's a piece by Democracy Now!:

Appalachians fight Mountain-top Removal-1/2 Democracy Now!
April 29, 2008

West Virginia Grandfather Takes on the Coal Industry: Ed Wiley on His Battle Against Mountaintop Removal Mining

It's been described as "the government-sanctioned bombing of Appalachia." The controversial coal mining practice known as mountaintop removal has been used widely in West Virginia. The technique involves blasting off the tops of mountains and dumping the rubble into valleys and streams. Its use has expanded under the Bush administration. We speak with Ed Wiley, one of the leading activists behind the grassroots effort to stop mountaintop removal in West Virginia.

Appalacians fight Mountain-top Removal-2/2 Democracy Now!

May 24, 2008

Cool Clear Water - Fleetwood Mac & Mountain Top Removal Mining

Mountaintop removal coal mining and acid mine drainage. The song in this video is by Fleetwood Mac. The man that shows up a couple of times in the video is Don Blankenship, Massey Energy CEO.

and so it goes,

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