I wanted to take a second to make a post about an important piece of legislation which will be introduced again in the upcoming Congress. I touched upon this issue in a column of mine back in September. Basically back in 2002 the Bush Administration’s Interior department changed the definition of “fill material” to include the toxic waste from mountaintop removal coal mining. This allows coal companies to take the massive amounts of waste from mountaintop removal and dump them into valleys and streams. The Clean Water Protection Act would overturn this ruling and reclassify the toxic waste as it actually is.
The implications of passing this kind of a bill are huge. The coal companies favor mountaintop removal over just straight mining the coal because it doesn’t require hiring as many coal works and saves them a lot of money. If the economics of this practice change, then mountaintop removal ceases to become a desirable option. Not only would this go a long way towards protecting the environment and local communities that are affected by the strip mining, but it would make coal a less attractive energy option since it’s price would more accurately reflect its damage to the natural environment.
So what can you do? Check HERE to see if you house representative has signed on to co-sponsor the bill. If they have, thank them and ask them to take a leadership role in pushing the bill through Congress. If they haven’t write to them, call their office, and meet with them to ask them to sign on.
Also, in case you’d like to find out more about the Clean Water Protection Act and mountaintop removal, check out this link.