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http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2010/08/rand-paul-government-should-no.htmlPaul also said that the practice of mountaintop removal mining simply needs to be rebranded.

“I think they should name it something better,” he says. “The top ends up flatter, but we’re not talking about Mount Everest. We’re talking about these little knobby hills that are everywhere out here. And I’ve seen the reclaimed lands. One of them is 800 acres, with a sports complex on it, elk roaming, covered in grass.” Most people, he continues, “would say the land is of enhanced value, because now you can build on it.”

Rand Paul, I contend. Mountaintop Removal is what it is.

And if you just refer to the evnrionment as “these little knobby hills that are everywhere out here”, and dismiss reclamation for valuing land as enhanced “because now you can build on it”, simply shows points to the contrary that you care about the development and preservationof the Environment.

The Problem with no regulation, is that corporations can appeal to environmental projects, making it look like they are “keeping up with the green precident”, when, like in the case of BP, they are not. Its a dream, Libertarians, if you say that corporations will regulate themselves wholly based on the appeal of the consumer.

Prosperity is nice. But with statistics pointing towards just the opposite in the Appalachian Region [see my “What Coal Provides (Or Doesnt)” page.], I’m sure regulation that can only help protect our stable and diverse environment is well needed.

Coal Companies simply want to expand to reap the $$$. They expand without considering how their expansion may affect the future, rather looking at the present.

The present example- Friends of Coal calling out in action due to the EPA’s revoking of a permit, as well as new EPA regulations that have long been anticipated by those against reckless coal (one being a requirement of plastic-lined retaining ponds.)

If Coal does not want to be responsible, meet new regulations and regulations that have existed, then it is truly incorrigible from it’s old days. Progress is a must with environmental care and understanding.

Blair Mountain is a historical site of  The Battle of Blair Mountain– a standoff that was the largest labour uprising in US history. Yet this beautiful site is endangered (like alot of mountains) of the onslaught of the Coal Companies, and what will lead to Mountaintop Removal.

An organization, The Friends of Blair Mountain has rallied against this horrid case of disregard for not only the environment, but history. In 2009, Blair Mountain was taken off the National Register of Historic Places, leaving it a step closer to the devastation another coal mine will bring to this mountain.

While much has been expressed about Rand Paul’s anti-coal stance had risen, take a look at these quotes that say otherwise.

“I think people here would find that im a great friend of coal….” -Rand Paul

“I think Coal is a big part of our future”-Rand Paul

“I think who owns the property should do with the property as they wish” -Rand Paul on Mountain Top Removal

See the interview for yourself:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HV-U1C9qXiw&feature=player_embedded

The fact is, is that mountaintop removal is one of the worst forms of coal mining imaginable.

Despite anyones best efforts, coal mining leaves pools of coal ash and other horrible substances that make up coal- in retaining, with cases of dams bursting, as such in one case, where a school is constantly threatened by yet another case of an unstable dam.

http://www.ilovemountains.org/communities/299

I can hardly see how a looming threat is “beneficial”. Schoolchildren should not have to grow up learning that there is a coal mine and a dam that could burst at any time and flood their community in coal sludge.

Take a moment to look at kentuckycoal.org’s argument:

Mountaintop removal in Kentucky has been very positive. This mining practice only impacts the top 10% of the mountain, provides much needed and valuable level land, handsomely pays the surface owner several thousand dollars for the use of his land, and leaves the land many times more valuable than prior to mining. I know if I were a surface owner, I would insist that the land be left level with numerous ponds.

Fairly level tracts with ponds and a wide road leading to the top of one’s property are only a dream for most Appalachian landowners, whose steep inaccessible land can only provide sporadic timbering and hunting.

Why do we need level land in Eastern Kentucky? If we are to truly develop a long-term economic future there, useable land out of the floodplains is critical. If it were not for coal, Appalachia would be an sparsely populated area. It was shortly after the turn of the 19th Century that coal began building the many coal towns in Appalachia, bringing with it a newfound prosperity.

Newfound prosperity? You mean all those bare mountains whose ecosystem and structure cannot be replaced? Sure, i can really see prosperity.

When a mountain is topped, it basically becomes a beacon for development- perhaps these people forgot about the damage this could cause to natural ecosystems?

Oh sorry, the preservation of the ecosystem as we know it is endangering prosperity- id better step aside.

After all, its just the food web.

Oh, and dont forget that Coal mining is apparently condoned by the Almighty, or so they say-

“Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill shall be made low; The rugged land shall be made a plain, the rough country, a broad valley.  Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all mankind shall see it together; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”  Isaiah 40:4-5, (New American Bible)

http://kentuckycoal.org/index.cfm?pageToken=mtmIssues

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