New Video on Appalachia and Wells Fargo

Written by Scott Parkin

Topics: Coal

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Appalachia is under attack by corrupt coal companies and greedy banks, like Wells Fargo, that fund them. The tactic is mountaintop removal. The result is a sort of bombing campaign wrecking havoc on Appalachian land, economy, people and culture.

Rainforest Action Network is helping spread the word about this “bombing campaign” and popular opposition in the region by producing this short shocking video about mountaintop removal.

The environmental impact is staggering as coal companies are literally exploding the tops off of mountains for seams of coal. This has resulted in 474 mountains being destroyed (so far), 7% of Appalachian forests cut down and over 1200 miles of rivers and streams have been buried with debris and waste.

Coal companies claim that mountaintop removal creates job and stimulates the local economy. But the real motive of mountaintop removal is to eliminate jobs in the mining sector. In 1940, West Virginia employed 130,000 miners 130,000 short tons of coal annually. By 1997, West Virginia employed less than 20,000 miners producing 180,000 short tons of coal annually. Mountaintop removal accounts for about 1.2% of jobs and brings in 2.6% to the local economy.

This tactic has also had a human impact. Families and communities have been driven from their homes and land with floods, landslides and blasting. Mountaintop removal has damaged or destroyed hundreds of homes and caused a 90% decrease in property values. Groundwater and wells are being poisoned by seeping mine waste causing a variety of health issues.

The cumulative impact of mountaintop removal is seeking to banish Appalachian culture to the dustbin of history in exchange for large profits to coal companies and the greedy banks that finance them.

Please send this video to your friends and let them know the truth about mountaintop removal and Wells Fargo!!

52 Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. charliee says:

    hey im doing some homework on this site. wondering if you could give me some advice. I have to answer the following questions:
    1. what do conservationists think should happen?
    2. what are they doing?
    any chance you could help me?

  2. JW Randolph says:

    charliee @52, check out the Appalachian Voices site.

    Wind power would work in Appalachia. Charlie Roth wrote a good article about it in the last issue of our paper, which Im not sure if it is online yet. MTR coal=5% of America’s energy. Appalachia could sustain 4% of our energy with wind if we stopped MTR.

    We also have a federal bill called the “clean water protection act” that would make “valley fills” illegal. 77 co-sponsors and counting in the House of Representatives!

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