Hippies Vs. Thugs And Purple Mountains Majesty

Remember when I wrote on December 3 about “The Adventures of Green Grandpa”? Well it turns out the old guy was right about a lot – or at least riding a massive wave of controversy, about to break in the country’s high court.

The uniquely Appalachian form of strip mining which involves the blowing the tops off of ancient and awesome mountains and dumping the rubble in the valleys below – known as Mountaintop Removal, has spurred more protests this year than ever before.

Coalfields Flash PointThere have been nearly 100 arrests in 20 protests in West Virginia this year. The activists of a new group called Climate Ground Zero, have

“chained themselves to giant dump trucks, scaled 80-foot trees to stop blasting and paddled into a 9 million-gallon sludge pond. They’ve blocked roads, hung banners and staged sit-ins”

according to the Associated Press.

The Virginia-based Massey Energy claims that a single 3 1/2-hour protest at Progress Coal Co. in Twilight cost the company $300,000. During that protest two activists were arrested.

Those against Mountaintop Removal say that the industry and its allies are instilling fear and anger among miners, by accusing environmentalists, Congress and the Obama administration of trying to kill coal through regulations.

“Massey equates anti-coal with anti-American”

says an article from today’s Associated Press. The Pittsburgh-based company, Consol Energy blames the planned layoffs of 482 miners on a lawsuit by the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition.

So who are the good guys? The union laborers that are just trying to make an honest buck? Or the environmentalists, who are just trying to save the environment?
The environmentalists use terms like “corrupt,” “greedy” and “thugs” to describe the pro-coal establishment. The Industry responds with words like “hippies,” “extremists” and “terrorists.”
Chances are if you’re reading this blog, you are on the side of the activists. Are we really being un-American in trying to save our “purple mountains majesty?” What would the Founding Fathers have said?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *