Current regulation states that the debris cannot be dumped or pushed within 100 feet of a river stream. This is the regulation the Current Occupant and coal industry want the Environmental Protection Agency to "clarify." (Measure 100 feet and you find this is not a great distance.) Not happy with this restriction, the Bush Administration, on behalf of the coal industry is asking for clarification that the regulation was not intended to apply if the coal industry tried to minimize the damage to the extent possible. In other words, if you cannot limit the damage, then you are free to dump the coal waste directly into the stream, polluting the water and every creek or river downstream.
The change must be approved by the Environmental Protection Agency and several members of Congress and interested individuals are trying to stop the rule change. There are several organizations that are provide information and are designed to help you know whom to call or write. I'm asking every person I know try to learn more and stop this awful action. The rule change has been published in the Federal Register so time is of the essence.
The following Web site provides comprehensive information about this frightening issue: http://www.ilovemountains.org/. Here you can find a great deal of information and what you might be able to do.
I am very proud to say that our State lawmakers in North Carolina have introduced the first bill in the nation to ban the use of the mountaintop removal of coal. I urge you to get involved, even if you live in a state far removed from the rape of the mountains. What hurts the environment in one state hurts the environment in all of them.
Please go to the ilovemountains Web site and find out more about this horrendous proposal. Listen to Robert F. Kenedy Jr.'s testimony to the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. We cannot allow the further destruction of the Appalachian Mountains and their people.
Does anyone really believe this mountain can ever be reclaimed? (Photograph from ilovemountains Web site.)
You may wonder why I have taken to calling the President of the United States the Current Occupant of the White House. It's quite simple. In view of the horrible and devastating changes he is trying to wreak on the environment during his waning days, I can no longer respect the man at all, and he is not worthy of my respect. He is not my President. And this has nothing whatsoever to do with politics. It has to do with the man and the actions of his administration.