Friday, October 30, 2009

Mountaintop Removal Mining (MTR) -- Nothing Less than Rape!

Oct 30 was a national day of protest to urge the EPA to end mountaintop removal mining. Early in the afternoon, protest organizer Scott Parkin reported back on Facebook:
"hey all-- we're having a really successful day. but we need your reportbacks. please send us your reportbacks and pics so that we can post them in the blogosphere.

so far,
- 13 activists did a 4 hour sit-in at the EPA HQ in Washington D.C.
-a Zombie March is making it's way through the streets of SF
-activists protest at the Atlanta EPA office and met with officials
-Philly activists hang a banner and rally at the Philly EPA offices
-the NYTimes, via AP picked up the story
-Jeff Biggers' post is hitting the blogosphere (Please repost"
Broadcaster At-Large has posted a podcast on this page,  on  and it will appear later this week on iTunes. It is the first part of a discussion of MTR with research ecologist Dr. Kellis Bayless and includes the voices of some of the people directly affected by what is nothing less than the brutal rape of the earth in some of the most beautiful and biodiverse regions of the United States.

Unfortunately, this crime occurs in some of the poorest counties of the nation, in Appalachia: West Virginia, Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee are the hardest hit, but northern Alabama, southwest Pennsylvania and southeast Ohio are hit too. Big corporations move in, rape the land and destroy the property values of the people that live there. They move in, taking advantage of the poverty in the area by promising jobs. But they also make it dangerous for people to live there; the land is more prone to flooding and landslides when it has been denuded of vegetation. People are also harmed because of the pollution this mining creates as lead, arsenic, mercury, cadmium, selenium and other toxics are released in the blasts that crack house foundations and shatter people's nerves.And of course, once all the coal is mined--and it's less than 10% of the US total production--the mining company goes away and takes its ballyhooed jobs with it. (BTW, MTR takes far fewer miners than traditional underground mining).

Streams that are the beginnings of larger rivers get buried by the dirt and rock (called "overburden") that gets thrown away (or rather blasted away) by the mining operation. So really, everybody east of the Mississippi is downstream from this devastation. And Westerners are in on this also. If you are a JPMorganChase customer, you are involved in MTR. Likewise if you are a PG&E customer.

Go to the website (linked on this page) and put your zipcode into a special program they have that can show your area's ties to MTR. While you are on that site, check out the videos they have. We have a few of them here, but they have more, especially on You Tube.

Frankly, they are sickening, especially when you think of the eons it took nature to build those mountains. I don't understand the type of mind that could have thought up this stuff.

Jeff Biggers' long post full of links, stills and video is here.