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MountainTop Removal in West Virginia

Updated on March 7, 2013

A big problem that is worth a thought in my local area of West Virginia is Mountaintop Removal. It has been coined by some as “strip mining on steroids.” This type of collection of coal basically is the cheapest and quickest way, but as the downside it is stripping away beautiful mountain tops leaving the land desolate for years to come. There is also issues with traditional mining job losses due to the speedy way the coal is collected, leaving no coal to be mined, thus no more jobs for local mining towns.

Results to this problem are not easy defined because there is a need for coal as it is used for over 50% of Americas electric supply. With increasing accidents and dangers in under ground mining, many will argue that mountaintop removal is a necessity and even safer than traditional mining methods. The extra need for American gathered energy sources are also a big push for coal to be mined quicker. Coal is very important to West Virginia economy and has been the only reason that the state’s unemployment rate has been below the national habit.

The alternative to mountaintop removal is other forms of coal collection such as traditional methods which have their own negative issues. Other alternative to mountaintop removal could be to find cleaner and more renewable source of commercialized energy. Although there are many other forms of energy that can be reduced without burning fossil fuels, the real challenge is to make it affordable and accessible to everybody. Other alternatives would be the ones unknown, maybe some time needs to be spent on finding alternative ways to get coal out of the mountains without putting miner’s lives at risk and that doesn’t destroy nature.

The advantages to almost any other form of electricity that is renewable is vast as far as the environment goes. Issues like global warming can be linked to the excess burning of fossil fuels that humans use to power their modern world. Benefits could also be found if experts could find a better and safer way to extract the coal. Disadvantages of using other methods of power could be the jobs lost to many of this state’s generational coal miners. Whole towns would be become empty as people would have to move to find jobs. Going with only traditional forms of removal would jack p costs of coal because of the added costs and time that it takes to mine.

The only solution that I can see being plausible for the long run, is to find alternative forms of power and then to teach classes on the new methods in areas hit hardest with miner job loss. Humans need to get away from resources that cannot be remade and use free and environmentally sound sources like water, wind and the sun’s rays. I am not how sure how this solution will end, I think it will be positive step for humans to be more self-sufficient and sustainable.


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