Mountaintop Removal Research Paper

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Taylor Griggs Professor Michael Hampton Intermediate Composition 4 August 2014 The Misguided Morality Behind Mountaintop Removal Mountaintop removal is an extremely controversial mining technique used in central Appalachia. The environmental, economic, and societal impacts of mountaintop removal have been powerful and costly. After so much destruction and damage to the environment and the health of native mining towns, it’s astonishing that this practice is completely legal under United States law, and even more so that mining companies can morally justify using this practice on some of America’s oldest mountains. Mining companies have been using erroneous arguments to sway politicians and the public to accept and further pursue this mining…show more content…
To be able to do this miners first start by completely clearing the forest habitat over the coal beds they wish to access. To remove the rock above the coal beds miners quite literally blow up the mountaintop. Approximately 2,500 tons of fuel explosives are used for mountaintop removal mining, this is equivalent to the power of a Hiroshima bomb each week (3). Explosives are used to break up the rock, then mining equipment known as draglines remove the rock from the mountaintop and dispose of it in areas that are called valley fills by the mining companies, but are generally just the streambeds that run along the…show more content…
She describes her childhood, using the mountains as her playground. In the late 90’s the coal companies started doing mountaintop removal on both mountains that surrounded the hollow of her town. “The blasts were so incredible, they’d knock pictures off the walls,” Christina states, “Everything was covered in a fine, grey dust.” Christina spent her life growing up in the mountains, and now they were being destroyed all around her. Because of the loss of vegetation and topsoil in the mountains due to mining, her town became susceptible to severe flooding. “The coal companies would always just say it’s “an act of god.” Sometimes you just feel like you’re caught in a warzone when you live in the middle of mountaintop removal.” Even with all of the damage that the coal companies were causing Christina’s town, the coal companies and the government were always a worthless effort in helping her town deal with the effects of mountaintop removal. “There is so much corruption and crookedness in this state’s government, and it’s all being fueled by the wallets of the coal companies,” Christina says. Frustrated, she states, ”Our mountains are being stripped of all life on them, our people are sick, dying, and dead

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