Coal is a very useful mineral to us. It has a variety of uses such as fuel for industries to produce other products. However the methods that we use to retrieve coal is very devastating to our environment. Mountain top removal is basically using explosives to search for coal. This is really bad for the environment because it effects the water ways, our land, as well as animals that live in these habitats. They use strip mining to blow off the parts of the mountain. Most of this method takes place in the Appalachian Mountains area of West Virginia, Tennessee, and Kentucky. The whole process of strip mining starts with trees being cut down. They have to cut down all the trees on the mountain top. This kills animals that live there and sometimes homes are destroyed and people have to be relocated. The explosion that follows from the explosives they use to blow up parts of the mountain varies in size. The larger explosions can be from 700-800 feet of the mountain. Just in April at least 25 workers was killed in a mine explosion in West Virgina. This has brought an mining industry that was already under a lot of pressure because of its major effects on the environment more scrutiny because of the lost of life. Hopefully other methods can be found and are being researched to make mining safer and more eco-friendly.