Common Dreams - I'm not sure if the EPA is addled, or downright shameless, but on the heels of meeting with besieged Appalachian coalfield residents and less than three months since its ballyhooed new guidance rules to halt reckless mountaintop removal operations, President Obama's Environmental Protection Agency has once again gone back on its word and green-lighted a dangerous mountaintop removal permit in a hair-brained pander to Big Coal that will knowingly destroy miles of critical headwater streams.
The piss poor week of coal news this week makes the BP disaster look like a cake walk. If only I could be glib and declare: The more things change, the more things stay the same. Peabody Energy announced they're opening a massive strip mine in Mongolia that will dwarf Wyoming's Powder River Basin to "solve world poverty"; Australia's strip mines continue to disappear historic communities; and the NY Times pointed out that Big Coal receives over $100 billion annually in welfare from Europe.
In the case of the Appalachian coalfields, where millions of pounds of ammonium nitrate fuel oil explosives are detonated daily in historic mountain communities and American citizens live in contaminated watersheds, the EPA's giddy support for the St. Louis-based Arch Coal's Pine Creek strip mine in Logan County, West Virginia is not only a travesty, but a costly one. Read more.