The decline of coal mining is a blessing to some and a curse to others. And when it comes to what’s known as ‘mountain top removal’ the disagreement runs even deeper. Appalachia is ground zero for this form of surface coal mining. And while it’s only a small percentage of all coal mining, opponents are calling for it to stop.
“Appalachia has so much potential, but we can’t realize that potential if we continue to poison our water and destroy our mountains."
Governor McAuliffe has accelerated the timetable set in a 2007 state law that requires a voluntary 10% reduction in state energy consumption—by moving its target date to 2020.
Now an expert panel established to help achieve that goal has concluded that it needs additional data just to clarify how that should be measured. It also says the responsibility does not just rest with electric utilities to boost their own conservation efforts.
Last week, 30 students began an unusual protest – riding bicycles along the path of a proposed natural gas pipeline.
Kendall King with the Virginia Student Environmental Coalition says protesters wanted to increase public awareness of plans for the 550-mile underground pipeline that would link fracking sites in West Virginia to customers in North Carolina.
Three public meetings are set for evenings this week on the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline; one of three that would carry liquid natural gas through Virginia.
The public meetings on the proposed pipeline will take place in Elliston and Chatham Virginia as well as Lindside, West Virginia, areas which could see the 42 inch pipe run through or near their towns.
Even though mountain top removal mining has been on the decline since 2008, the effects on people living in coal mined areas, is not. A new tool tracks the impact on communities over time and shows where it’s been greatest.