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Warnings from the Coal Fields


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The United States has an enormous appetite for coal. More than 50 percent of the nation’s energy supply comes from coal-fired power plants. We often look to the skies when weighing the environmental consequences of burning coal. But what about the effects on mountains and communities where coal is mined?

On this edition of Making Contact, we take a look at the impacts of a common practice in the coal industry known as “mountain top removal.” We also hear about alleged collusion between an Alabama-based coal company and paramilitaries in Colombia against union organizers.


Larry Gibson, longtime community organizer in West Virginia; Julia Bonds, Coal River Mountain Watch;Monroe Cassady, former coal miner;Vivian Stockman, Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition;John Wathen, Citizens Coal Council; Cindy Rank, West Virginia Highlands Conservancy;Rodney Winston, a mineworker in Alabama;Attorney Dan Kovalik, head of the United Steelworkers legal department;Hector Castro, Central Trade Council of Colombian Unionists.

For more information:

Coal River Mountain Watch – Whitesville, West Virginia

Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition – Huntington, West Virginia

West Virginia Highlands Conservancy – Rock Cave, West Virginia

Alabama Environmental Council – Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Citizens Coal Council

USWA – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Local 169 UNITE – New York, New York

Author: Radio Project

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