Mining The 'Brazilian Rainforest' Of The U.S.

Coal mining in the heart of America's ancient ecosystem is destroying Eastern Kentucky's natural beauty.
February 13, 2006, 7am PST | David Gest
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"When you fly over the Appalachians of Eastern Kentucky, you can see the gray scars on the mountains, pockmarks reaching far to the north and east that are the results of a kind of strip-mining called mountaintop removal."

"It takes just a dozen guys with giant D-9 bulldozers about a year to wreck a mountain. They dynamite it, then shove the shattered vegetation and topsoil (called spoil or overburden) down into the valleys, followed by chunks of bedrock.

Everything in this horrific pile dies. Even the streams are buried. Every rain is a flood. Slurry ponds spill black sludge. People living near mine sites hear the cacophony of dynamite, 'dozers and coal trucks around the clock. Their houses flood and crack. Their children come home from school sick, covered with coal dust. The well water is black."

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Published on Thursday, February 9, 2006 in International Herald Tribune
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