Mountaintop Removal

In today’s world, we need to pay attention to our environment.  Alarming studies have shown the negative affect humans have caused to the environment.  One of the nation’s largest growing problems is mountaintop removal, which is a form of mining that eliminates mass amounts of dirt from mountains to find coal.  The practice of the mining technique has lead to beneficial outcomes for the mining companies, but overall a detrimental affect on the environment.  Coal is the leading source of energy.  Almost the whole east coast is fed by coal.  Now that people are entering a Green age, coal is slowly being replaced by renewable energy. Today, many environmentalists and scientists work to “construct new low-carbon structures, modernize our energy grid” and “push for laws requiring energy utilities to provide greater percentages of electricity from renewable sources” (Sierra Club “Clean Energy Solutions: Repower and rebuild America).  Replacing coal will still take many years and according to other parties, it will continue to be the world’s dominant energy.  Unfortunately our world is growing rapidly and the demand for energy is growing as our population increases.

People and wildlife are mostly affected by the environmental disturbance mountaintop removal causes.  The area of land covers parts of West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee.  Removing the land and mining for coal are the reasons why mountaintop removal has a negative affect on our environment.  It pollutes everything; from the water, to poisoning animals and humans.  Selenium is a mineral that with too much of it can cause an unnatural balance in nature.  The process of coal contaminates the air and the water.  Many humans and animals that receive too much of the poisonous minerals in their body can have internal damage.  When one life form is poisoned, another one will be affected.  Fish have mutated because of the poison.  Birds will eat the fish, which will cause them to die.  Mountaintop removal is causing way too much pollution and is a vast threat to the land.

Sierra Club has been working since 1892 to help save the environment.  There is scientific evidence that, “Six of the last eight years were the hottest on record.  Polar ice and glaciers are disappearing, sea levels are rising, coral reefs are suffering, plant and animal species are disappearing” (Sierra Club “The Goals of the Sierra Club’s Climate recovery Partnership”).  Millions of worried people are beginning to listen and follow what Sierra Club has to offer.  With the efforts of environmental organizations like Sierra club, Earth can be saved.  Worldwide, people are going green to help save fossil fuels and global warming.  Mountaintop removal is a key factor in earth’s destruction.  Mining mountains continuously destroys thousands of trees and kills many animals. The ecosystems are changing and animals are becoming endangered simply because the mining companies can easily dump the land into the valleys and streams.  Most people would say that the government does not closely watch coal companies.  Not only wildlife is becoming affected, but humans too.

The ongoing argument relating to whether or not mountaintop removal mining is beneficial will continue until a solution is made.  Others feel that the government should shut down mountaintop mining sites, while coal companies want to build more.  The environment is slowly speaking to us by showing how people are affecting the world.  Some people think the green movement will slowly become the answer to the controversy.  Coal companies have a chance to end coal production and enter the wind energy market.  Will people who care about the environment win or successful energy companies win?  Only time can tell.

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2 Responses to Mountaintop Removal

  1. Join us on September 25-7 in Washington, D.C. at Appalachia Rising, a mass mobilization calling for the abolition of mountaintop removal and surface mining. Appalachia Rising is is a national response to the poisoning of America’s water supply, the destruction of Appalachia’s mountains, head water source streams, and communities through mountaintop removal coal mining. It follows a long history of social action for a just and sustainable Appalachia.
    Appalachia Rising strives to unite coalfield residents, grass roots groups, individuals, and national organizations to call for the abolition of mountaintop removal coal mining and demand that America’s water be protected from all forms of surface mining.

    Appalachia Rising will consist of two events. First, the weekend conference, Sept. 25-26, Appalachia Rising, Voices from the Mountains will provide an opportunity to build or join the movement for justice in Appalachia through strategy discussions and share knowledge across regional and generational lines. The second event on Monday, Sept.27, is the Appalachia Rising Day of Action which will unify thousands in calling for an end to mountaintop removal and all forms of steep slope surface mining though a vibrant march and rally. An act of dignified non-violent civil disobedience will be possible for those who wish to express themselves by risking arrest.

    For more info, visit

  2. mollywarren says:

    What’s really silly is the “clean coal” campaign. I’ve seen lots of commercials for it. It’s sad to me that we can’t seem to get it together enough to harvest wind, solar, geothermal, or hydroelectric energy. I mean, my family has a corn stove that literally burns shelled corn, because, yeah, it releases CO2, but it grows faster than trees and reduces our dependence on natural gas and coal.

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