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Dear Mr. President,
As I write this letter, I brace myself for another round of nerve-wracking explosives being detonated above my home in the mountains of West Virginia. Outside my door,pulverized rock dust, laden with diesel fuel and ammonium nitrate explosives hovers in the air, along with the residual of heavy metals that once lay dormant underground.
The mountain above me, once a thriving forest, has been blasted into a pile of rock and mud rubble. Two years ago, it was covered with rich black topsoil and abounded with hardwood trees, rhododendrons,ferns and flowers. The understory thrived with herbs such as ginseng, black cohosh, yellow root and many other medicinal plants. Black bears, deer, wild turkey, hawks, owls and thousands of [other] birds lived here. The mountaincontained sparkling streams teeming with aquatic life and fish.
Now it is all gone. It is all dead. I liveat the bottom of a mountain-top-removal coal-mining operation in the Peachtree community.
Mr. President Obama, I am writing you because we have simply run out of options. Lastweek, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court in Richmond, Va., overturned a federal court ruling for greater environmental restrictions on mountaintop-removal permits. Dozens of permits now stand to be rushed through. As you know, in December, the EPA under George W. Bush allowed an 11th-hour change to the stream buffer zone rule, further unleashing the coal companies to do as they please.
During your presidential campaign, you declared:"We have to find more environmentally sound ways of mining coal than simply blowing the tops off mountains."
That time is now. Or never.
Every day, more than 3 million pounds ofexplosives are detonated in our state to remove our mountains and expose the thin seams of coal. Over 470 mountains in Appalachia have been destroyed in this process, the coalscooped up and hauled away to be burned at coal-fired power plants across our country and abroad. This includes the Potomac River Plant, which generates the electricity for the White House.
Originally posted by FritosBBQTwist
Least to say, I do remember how Obama said he would change how coal companies do their work (making them "clean" and "green").
[edit on 2-3-2009 by FritosBBQTwist]
And we must find a way to stop coal from polluting our atmosphere without pretending that our nation's most abundant energy source will just go away. It won't. It will also require taking steps to ensure that China's coal emissions are curbed as well. Already, some coal pollution from China's dirty plants is making its way to California. That's why we must invest in clean coal technologies that we can use at home and share with the world. Until those technologies are available, I will rely on the carbon cap and whatever tools are necessary to stop new dirty coal plants from being built in America - including a ban on new traditional coal facilities.