Mountaintop removal is suddenly in the news (for example, this pretty good Diane Rehm show segment yesterday) since the Obama administration just ok'd a permit for a new mine.

It is interesting that Obama chose to do that precisely as scientists had agreed to what is already common sense: "Mountaintop removal is causing 'pervasive and irreversible damage' to Appalachia's forests, streams and wildlife and new permits should not be granted unless a way is found to prevent such impacts".

Why cherry pick the science so global warming fears are highlighted and emphasized as national policy but the science on mountaintop removal is ignored? Could it be because it is happening in the impoverished, colonized area of the nation where money talks most loudly?

Here is a problem that can be stopped immediately with instant, obvious, and essential benefits, and to fail to do so immediately and completely is a massive moral failing in which we are all complicit.

Sure, you've heard it before, but it hasn't changed. There are few other issues in any area of public policy that can be so easily and immediately addressed with just the slightest backbone and will.


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