Religious Groups Fighting 'Mountain-Top Removal Coal Mining'

<p>Halting the environmentally destructive mountain-top removal of coal mining in Appalachia has long been a goal for environmentalists. Now members of the Mennonite and other Christian denominations have joined the movement.</p>
October 30, 2006, 5am PST | Irvin Dawid
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"A new group, Christians for the Mountains, urges religious people to take up mountaintop removal 'as a spiritual issue,' and it has made a DVD that it is distributing to churches and individuals, said Allen Johnson, an evangelical Christian and a founder of the group."

"The United States is rich with coal, and mountaintop removal has begun to replace underground mining in Appalachia as the preferred method of extraction because of its efficiency and lower cost. Mountaintop removal involves leveling mountains with explosives to reach seams of coal. The debris that had once been the mountain is usually dumped by bulldozers and huge trucks into neighboring valleys, burying streams."

"The coal industry asserts that mountaintop removal is a safer way to remove coal than sending miners underground and that without it, companies would have to close mines and lay off workers. "

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Published on Saturday, October 28, 2006 in The New York Times
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