According to the AP, “The Obama administration is mulling a proposal for a new jobs program with the aim of planting trees on Appalachian mountaintops that have been scalped by mining companies in search of coal.” The money would go to a group called the Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative. On the surface, this seems like a great way to reclaim mountaintop removal sites and at the same time bring jobs to the region.
[I wrote this about two years ago, when I found out that Tomblin was boasting to mountaintop removal opponents that he was going to be the next governor.]
Earl Ray Tomblin is the President of West Virginia’s State Senate and he wants to be governor. Tellingly, for 35 years he has represented Logan County, arguably the most corrupt county in the nation. Logan’s failing sunshine review grade and the latest vote buying scandal only scratch the surface.
The social harm caused by coal is enormous.
Of course there is the obvious horror of mountaintop removal. I once led a discussion with coalfield residents in which we brainstormed about 100 of its horrible effects, ranging from the disappearance of wildlife to the boulders that were crashing in nearby homes.
Thanks to the efforts of the mountaintop removal industry and the politicians who do their bidding, the site of the nation’s largest worker rebellion will be delisted from the National Historic Registry.