Coal / Mountaintop Removal

Obama visits West Virginia on coal disaster anniversary: Will he finally recognize Appalachian health emergency?

Photo by Vivan Stockman, Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, flyover courtesy of Southwings.

Photo by Vivan Stockman, Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, flyover courtesy of Southwings.

RALEIGH COUNTY, WV — “Ever since Obama took office, the long-time tragedy of Oxycontin and prescription painkillers, along with heroin, has ravaged coal mining communities in central Appalachia–despite years of national news investigations on failed regulatory enforcement.

In that same light, after years of ignoring pleas from besieged residents on failed mining regulations, will President Obama and members of his administration finally make their first historic visit to a coal slurry impoundment and a mountaintop removal operation, and recognize a spiraling health disaster that has resulted in documented high rates of birth defects, lung cancer and heart problems?

En route to West Virginia, President Obama will literally fly over massive coal slurry impoundments and untold miles of mountaintop removal operations.

All the president needs to do is look outside his window–and acknowledge an American tragedy that should be abolished, not regulated.

— Jeff Bigger, Huffington Post

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