12 June 2009

Obama Unveils MTR Policy; W.Va. Reacts

The Obama administration plans to "eliminate the expedited reviews that have made it easier for mining companies to blast off Appalachian mountaintops and discard the rubble into valleys where streams flow," The Associated Press reports.

An agreement reached by three federal agencies "also includes changes to tighten federal oversight and environmental screening" of mountaintop removal mining in six states, including West Virginia.

The AP article notes that such mines "in the states where the practice is most used - West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee - produce nearly 130 million tons of coal each year, or about 14 percent of the coal that produces electricity, and employ about 14,000 people."

The Charleston Gazette reports that "the Obama proposals did not please critics from either side."

"Coal industry officials said the initiative creates more uncertainty about the hoops companies must jump through to open new mines, while environmental groups objected that more concrete steps were not taken to immediately slow the destructive mining practice," that article said.

MetroNews similarly reports that "none of the interested parties in the controversial mountaintop removal mining process appear satisfied" with Thursday's announcement.

Gov. Joe Manchin and his environmental protection secretary issued a joint statement reacting to the proposals, as did U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-2nd.

1 comment:

clear eyes said...

This is just the start of Obama's plan to eliminate the use of coal. The next step is the energy tax (called cap and trade to avoid the word "tax") penalizing fossil fuels.