"It would be one thing if—as some political leaders continually try to suggest—this was just one isolated study," Ward writes. "But it’s not. It’s a growing body of studies that continues to present a compelling case that something is going on. And, of course, while the human health studies are the most troubling, the evidence of environmental destruction from mountaintop removal also continues to grow."
"Just this week, there was another important paper out of the University of Kentucky, reporting on how mountaintop removal is reducing the salamander population in Kentucky’s coalfields," Ward writes. "This is a follow-up paper to one that produced a similar finding in West Virginia. We wrote about that paper in a Gazette story that summarized the findings of a study many of the overlooked environmental effects of mountaintop removal."
"Another important study published in August reported that the coal industry’s much-touted “mitigation” efforts aren’t really doing much good at restoring streams damaged by mining," Ward writes. The Washington Post wrote an editorial saying that coal advocates claim the studies are nothing but an "anti-coal, anti-business agenda."
But few in coal country are jumping in to defend editorials like the one in the Post, Ward writes. "You don’t see much coverage of these important scientific studies in the West Virginia media, and you don’t see many editorials like the Post’s in our state’s newspapers." (Read more)