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.
"I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this any more!"
- Howard Beale
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