The EPA's new guidance on water quality for coal mining has some environmentalists celebrating the 'historic action' that will reduce the environmental damage wrought by mountaintop removal. It probably will, and I'm thrilled they've taken this step rather than none.
But there's lots left to do—including altogether ending the practice (which an AP writer has the nerve to call "a highly efficient method that environmental groups claim is too damaging"—an absurd statement on many levels, including the fact that MTR doesn't actually produce that much coal).
Maryland Senator Benjamin Cardin, sponsor of the Appalachian Restoration Act, which would drastically reduce mountaintop removal mining, believes ending the practice not only possible, but that scientific evidence supports its necessity. And last night, Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown joined the other nine sponsors of the bill.
Lisa Jackson gave a press conference call about the new guidance today (audio available at Coal Tattoo), during which she said "clean coal is an important part of our energy use." Jackson is great on a lot of environmental issues, but coal doesn't seem to be one of them. (It's not clean. It's hazardous. Maybe she's spending too much time around the coal-defending Obama.)
To learn more about mountaintop removal coal mining, visit past coverage here at Planet Green or check out the movie Coal Country. If you're moved to action, a good place to start is to voice your support for the Appalachian Restoration Act.