"The Appalachians' 28.5 billion tons of anthracite coal is obtained through mountaintop removal -- dynamiting the tops off the mountains and dumping the leftovers into mountain valleys and stream beds. Environmental groups say the practice is horribly destructive to the region's water, land and wildlife -- but they have been reluctant to use a powerful weapon, the Endangered Species Act, in fighting it. The few national groups that have tried have run up against a special species review process for coal mining, and most have avoided it entirely for fear of upsetting a fragile partnership with their regional blue-collar allies."
"Enviro Groups Tread Lightly With Endangered Species Act in Appalachia"
Source: Greenwire, 08/11/2009