"Obama Mountaintop Plan Disappoints Appalachian Advocates"

"The Obama administration's new interagency plan to regulate mountaintop removal coal mining met with mixed reactions from Appalachian community advocates.

The agreement signed Thursday between officials from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Interior, and the Army Corp of Engineers aims to reduce the environmental impacts of mountaintop coal mining in the six Appalachian states of Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

'While the administration's announcement demonstrates some good intentions, particularly in their emphasis on green jobs in Appalachia, they are seeking compromise on an issue that is continuing the Bush administration legacy of sacrificing Appalachian Mountain communities,' said Willa Mays, executive director of the advocacy group Appalachian Voices.

'Their priorities do not take into account that mountains are being blown up today, and until mountaintop removal coal mining is ended, residents will continue to suffer from high disease rates, floods, and poisoned water supplies directly attributable to this mining practice.'"

Environment News Service had the story June 15, 2009.

Source: ENS, 06/16/2009