Landmark Legislation Would End State’s Use of Coal from Controversial and Destructive Mining Practice
This just in: the North Carolina state legislature may take the destructive and despicable practice of mountaintop removal coal mining head-on by banning the use of coal obtained from mountaintop removal at any North Carolina coal plant. The Appalachian Mountains Preservation Act, introduced today by Representative Pricey Harrison (D-Guilford) and supported by our friends at Appalachian Voices, would be the first of it's kind in the nation.
From the Appalachian Voices press release:
“Right now, North Carolina is one of the nation’s top consumers of coal from mountaintop removal mining,” said Rep. Harrison. “That needs to change. Mountaintop removal coal mining presents a clear and present danger to the Appalachian Mountains, which are home to a vibrant and indelible culture, stunning biodiversity and enormous economic potential.”
Mountaintop removal coal mining is an extremely destructive form of strip mining found throughout Appalachia, with some mines as big as the island of Manhattan. Coalfield residents say that it tears apart communities, poisons water supplies, pollutes the air and destroys our nation’s natural heritage – while only making the climate crisis worse.
“The mountains being destroyed by mountaintop removal here in eastern Kentucky are very similar to the mountains of western North Carolina,” said Teri Blanton of Kentuckians for the Commonwealth. “Mountaintop removal is destroying our culture and biodiversity across Appalachia, and we are pleased to see that the people of North Carolina, who value their mountains, recognize the connection and want to treat all the mountains of the region with the same respect.”
Thirteen North Carolina power plants purchase coal from mountaintop removal mine sites, according to the records included in the My Connection tool created by Appalachian Voices, online at www.ilovemountains.org.
“With this landmark legislation, North Carolina has a chance to lead the nation in calling for an end to highly destructive and unnecessary mountaintop removal mining,” said Mary Anne Hitt, Executive Director of Appalachian Voices. “North Carolinians know we can find better ways to generate electricity.”
Sixty-one percent of the electricity used to power North Carolina homes and businesses is generated by coal-fired power plants. Nationwide, North Carolina is second only to Georgia in its use of mountaintop removal coal.
Head to www.ILoveMountains.org for more on mountain top removal and how to fight it.
image credit: www.ILoveMountains.org