Mountaintop Removal Research Paper

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Jeffrey Owens April 19, 2011 Geography, 100 Removing the Purple Mountain Majesties The use of Coal in America has become second nature to United States citizens, and American corporations. Coal is used for energy across the U.S., and is very important to the economy and the structure of our nation. Using coal for electricity has become as American as hot dogs and automobiles and while coal is very necessary and useful, some as destructive and controversial views some of the means by which the coal is recovered. Mountaintop removal has is one of these means of obtaining coal, and has sparked interest and outrage across America. Although the benefits of coal are numerous and extensive, Mountaintop removal is detrimental to the environment…show more content…
Mountaintop removal is not the type of mining that you would have seen in the movies. There are no prospectors walking around with picks, and the miners are not going deep underground to obtain the coal. This technique is a fairly recent type of mining, and has only been occurring over the past few decades. To explain the concept of mountaintop removal, Tom Zeller, of the New York Times, states that “Today, companies like Massey Energy rely on contentious techniques like mountaintop removal, in which explosives and vast machinery are used to lop off hilltops to expose coal seams for easy extraction.” The quote, as well as the cartoon (above) displays the techniques that are used in mountaintop removal, and provides good insight on the process of mountaintop removal. Throughout Appalachia this process has been occurring, and has lead to outrage among many people across these areas, and even the nation. This type of mining has been in effect for years, and has been effective in retrieving large amounts of coal, that is used to power our nation. While coal is a necessary source of energy in the United States, opponents of this technique argue that there are many negatives to mountaintop removal. These negatives include the destroying of ecosystems, the pollution of the nearby streams and rivers, pollution of the air, numerous health affects, and of course the…show more content…
Some of these benefits of mountain top removal include, boosting of local economy, improving the wild life and environment, and creating flat land for many different sites including airports and golf courses (Mountain top Mining). These arguments are not shared by that of scholars and authors, but can be found on numerous mountaintop mining websites. The levels of coal that our country uses ever day means that we have to find the most efficient way of mining coal that we

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