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Mountaintop Removal Mining

by Sam Pearson posted on Feb 22, 2008 09:42 PM last modified Mar 20, 2012 10:08 AM

Preface to I Love Mountains presentation on Sunday, February 24. Ideally there will be a part two after the fact and we can see what I will have gleaned...

Given rapidly rising energy costs, imminent threats to national security caused by energy dependence, and increasing awareness of the limits and inaccessibility of world oil reserves, it may seem rational and even sensible to direct our energy economy more aggressively toward domestic coal supplies.  There are those who champion the continued and expanded use of this venerable form of fossil fuel at any cost, but it's good to get a sense of what the costs actually are. 

Beyond global climate implications, the impact on human health, local economies, water quality, and environmental integrity are only bearable when never actually considered.  This willful ignorance is a luxury we may be able to enjoy at a distance – for now.  But buying into the energy-at-any-cost strategy will eventually have dire consequences right here in Pennsylvania.  We, too, have coal.  It’s hard to get to on the massive scale that would be required, but not harder than wresting oil from tar sands or from wells sited in hostile territory. 

Come learn about the consequences of our energy habits on the people of West Virginia and consider how vulnerable we are.  Current and proposed policies (carbon caps, sequestration, and cap-and-trade systems) only address the problems at the top of the smokestack; what about the rest of the dirty process?  On Sunday, February 24th, at 2pm, at the Senior Center in Lewisburg (116 N 2nd St), the Otzinachson Group of the Sierra Club will sponsor a program called "Horrors of Mountaintop Removal Mining," given by Barbara Strangfeld, a representative of the West Virginia-based I Love Mountains.

It’s clearly time for serious conservation and efficiency efforts and a reform of our power system.  Let’s start thinking ahead by seeing clearly what we’ve already left in our wake.

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