Coal Tattoo


Mountaintop removal mining is always a popular topic for editorials.

Last week, I mentioned the  editorial that was published the same day as the Post’s news columns got the scoop interview on the Obama administration’s plans for dealing with mountaintop removal permits.

But, the folks over at The New York Times editorial page decided to celebrate West Virginia Day  with their own response to Obama’s plan. Headline “More than stopgaps for Appalachia,” the Times editorial is quite different from the Post’s:

The coal-mining practice known as mountaintop removal has inflicted great harm on streams and valleys throughout Appalachia. The Obama administration has now taken several useful steps to limit future damage. But these are stopgap measures, well short of the permanent protections needed.

…It still leaves in place the destructive Bush rules that essentially legalized the practice of dumping harmful waste in valleys and streams. The Obama administration has pledged to restore the old buffer zone restriction. But it has said nothing at all about redefining mining waste as an illegal pollutant, which it was before the Bush people came along. A bill before the House would do exactly that. The administration should do it first.

Here in Charleston, the Daily Mail blasted the folks who are risking arrest in civil disobedience protests against mountaintop removal,  but DM business writer GeorgeHohmann offered a bit more sympathy for the protesters, in a column discussing his own opposition to the Vietnam War.