People who live near mountaintop removal coal mining have cancer rates twice as high as people living elsewhereSubmitted by Katherine on Wed, 09/21/2011 - 15:33
In July, the Journal of Community Health published a study that found people who live near mountaintop removal coal mining have cancer rates twice as high as people living elsewhere in Appalachia. A peer-reviewed study also linked mountaintop removal to high rates of birth defects. Another study pegged the public health costs of coal in Appalachia at about $80 billion a year.
Mountaintop removal has been a controversial issue in Appalachia since at least the mid-1990s and coalfield citizens have long complained of health problems, and probable links to coal and rock dust from blasting and trucking, contaminated streams and groundwater, and toxic chemicals at coal preparation plants.
Implications of these findings are slow to sink into Appalachias political realm - which is heavily dominated by mining industry money. WVUs economics dept. has doctoral fellowships named for the Koch brothers, billionaire owners of refining, oil and mining interests. The Koch fellows at WVU churn out papers that, among other things, cast doubt on whether mine safety rules are a good thing.
Is Rand Paul a Kochhead?
Sen. Paul has introduced legislation to overturn current and block future federal regulations that ensure our health and safety. His bill, called the "Regulations of the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act", also
referred to as the REINS Act, "reins" in the government but does not rein in the power of corporate giants like the Koch brothers.
Paul's legislation is designed to make it more difficult to implement safeguards, including those that protect public health, the environment, and food safety. It would shift decision-making from experts to politicians; allowing Congress to undermine existing laws
and enabling a majority in one House of Congress to void legal
protections while dispensing with the role of the other body and the
President. Thus the REINS Act represents a threat on several levels.