Effects of Strip Mining on the Appalachian Environment

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Effects of Strip Mining on the Appalachian Environment

Coal mining, in particular, strip mining has become the latest casualty of the growing green movement in the United States. What is strip mining? Encyclopædia Britannica Online defines strip mining as the removal of vegetation, soil, and rock above a layer of coal, followed by the removal of the coal itself (“strip”). Most Americans don’t realize the impact this material of biological origin that can be used as a source of energy (“fossil”), or fossil fuel, has on their everyday lives or the nation’s economy. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the mining industry directly employs some fifty thousand Americans with nearly half that number working in the more specific field of strip mining, or mountain top removal (“Average”). The Intergovermental Panel on Climate Change reports in their “Fourth Assessment Report” that coal derives half the electricity production in the U.S., with the U.S. exporting approximately six percent of the coal produced (Sims). Despite the positives, strip mining poses some serious consequences to the environment, portraying the ind...  

Coal mining, in particular, strip mining has become the latest casualty of the growing green movement in the United States. What is strip mining? Encyclopædia Britannica Online defines strip mining as the removal of vegetation, soil, and rock above a layer of coal, followed by the removal of the coal itself (“strip”). Most Americans don’t realize the impact this material of biological origin that can be used as a source of energy (“fossil”), or fossil fuel, has on their everyday lives or the nation’s economy. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the mining industry directly employs some fifty thousand Americans with nearly half that number working in the more specific field of strip mining, or mountain top removal (“Average”). The Intergovermental Panel on Climate Change reports in their “Fourth Assessment Report” that coal derives half the electricity production in the U.S., with the U.S. exporting approximately six percent of the coal produced (Sims). Despite the positives, strip mining poses some serious consequences to the environment, portraying the ind…

 


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