Most Oppose Mountaintop Removal

In its final days, the Bush White House is trying to give mountaintop removal mining companies more leeway to dump.

An overwhelming majority of those aware of the environmental destruction wrought by mountaintop removal coal mining are opposed to the practice. So says the results of a new poll of 1,000 randomly selected U.S. adults on the topic released last week by Lake Research Partners and Bellwether Research and Consulting. Environmental nonprofits Earthjustice, the Appalachian Center for the Economy and Environment, and the Sierra Club commissioned the non-partisan poll, which also found that Americans believe the environment in the U.S. is deteriorating, and that increasing environmental protections is good for the economy.

The poll comes on the heels of a White House announcement the prior week that the federal government plans to try to repeal a Reagan-era law prohibiting coal companies from dumping waste from mountaintop removal mining within 100 feet of streams. The so-called Stream Buffer Zone Rule was put in place to protect communities, mostly across Appalachia, from flooding, polluted drinking water supplies and other ills associated with mountaintop removal coal mining. Overturning the law now would help mining companies lower costs by cutting corners on clean-up. The groups behind the poll are lobbying to prevent the White House plan to repeal the two-decades-old rule, claiming it is a lame-duck gift on the part of the Bush administration to the mining industry which has stood by the president for two terms.

Source: Earth Justice