Mountaintop removal mining has been around for several decades—it started to become prevalent in Appalachia in 1985. 1,2 The general overview of the process of mountaintop removal mining goes as follows: Miners select a mountain to extract coal “seams” from, and clear its surface of major obstructions, mainly trees. 3 Next, either by explosives or machinery, the surface rock and soil of the mountain is removed. As the coal begins to become visible throughout the mountain, miners scoop out the coal. Throughout the process, many tons of rock and dust are displaced into neighboring areas, most often called “valley fills”. As the title implies, valley fills are what once used to be a peaceful vegetated valley that has now been filled with rubble. The coal itself goes through a cleaning process to remove some materials which make for a cleaner burn cycle. After all of the coal is extracted, the mountain goes through a reclamation process which is intended to stabilize and re-vegetate the now-crippled peak. 3 Unfortunately, coal companies tend to s...
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... Gunnoe. Firefly Pix, 2008. DVD.
"Learn More About Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining." ILoveMountains.org. Web.
"Mountaintop Mining Leaves Massive Scars in Appalachia." USA Today 27 Oct 2009: A.10. SIRS Researcher. Web. 13 February 2010.
Reece, Erik. "Death of a Mountain." Harper's April 2005: 41-60. SIRS Researcher. Web. 15 February 2010.
---. "Moving Mountains." Orion Magazine Jan 2006. Web. 15 Feb 2010.
Shnayerson, Michael. Coal River. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008. Print.
Slavin, Peter. "The Coal Mine Next Door." American School Board Journal. March 2006: 16-21. SIRS Researcher. Web. 13 February 2010.
“What is Mountain Top Removal Mining?” Mountain Justice. 13 Feb. 2010
Wingfield, Brian. "Seeing Red On Cap And Trade." Forbes 28 Sep 2009. Web. 15 Feb 2010.
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