This news story originally provided by the The Daily
Poll shows most oppose mountaintop removal mining
By The Associated Press
A new poll has found 56 percent of West Virginians oppose mountaintop removal
Wednesday July 14, 2004
Democratic pollster Celinda Lake conducted the poll of 500 likely voters for
the Lewisburg-based Appalachian Center for the Economy and the Environment.
"West Virginians know that the coal industry is using our resources for
short-term gains at the expense of our future," Joe Lovett, the center's
executive director, said.
The poll, which had a 4.4 percent margin of error, found 39 percent
"strongly oppose" and 17 percent "somewhat oppose" the
mountaintop removal. Seventeen percent said they "somewhat favor" and
12 percent said they "strongly favor" the practice. Fifteen percent
The poll, which was conducted in mid-June, found 58 percent of women and 54
percent of men opposed the practice.
Bill Raney, president of the West Virginia Coal Association, declined
detailed comment on the results of the poll, saying he had not seen the wording
of the questions asked.
"Given who paid for it, I would think that they are disappointed that it
wasn't 100 percent against," he said.
A federal court ruling Thursday barred the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from
using a streamlined process to approve mountaintop removal mining permits in
West Virginia's southern coalfields.
Although the majority of West Virginia's coal is mined underground, companies
have been turning to mountaintop removal mining to extract thinner seams.
The process involves blasting the mountaintop to expose the coal. Rock and
dirt leftover from the reclamation process is pushed into valleys to create
fills. As a result, more than 1,000 miles of streams in Appalachia's coal
regions have been buried.