Far from a trickle, according to the EPA, "110 individual and general mining permits have been issued by the Corps of Engineers since the Obama administration began under section 404 of the Clean Water Act."
One of the most important film documentaries in years, turning the light on the dark side of all mining, Coal Rush faithfully documents the long-running legal proceedings until the final settlement in the summer of 2011.
"The Hand of Man" takes the listener to White Star Holler in Kentucky, where seven generations of mountain families have struggled to defend their lives and livelihoods from the toxic fallout from coal company destruction.
This is where the urgency and solidarity and audacious determination of national organizations -- and residents across the country -- are desperately needed, on a par with the tar sands movement. If we can stop the proposed Keystone pipeline, we can stop mountaintop removal.
Many of the children in Martin County, Kentucky, eat only when they are in school. No food at home on weekends or during school vacations. That means that more than 1,500 children in this community went hungry.
The House Natural Resources Committee has some explaining to do. A press release summary from the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources completely deleted any mention of the official testimonies by Appalachian coalfield leader.
My real reason for going to Kentucky was because I wanted to see what happens when a town outlives its usefulness to the global economy; to get a better grasp of human cost of the decline of American industry.
If O'Brien and CNN wish to tell the real battle of Blair Mountain, they owe it to their viewers -- and the affected residents living under the fallout of mountaintop removal operations in central Appalachia -- to come back and tell the other side.
Among the 1.2 million American citizens living in mountaintop removal mining counties in central Appalachia, an additional 60,000 cases of cancer are directly linked to the federally sanctioned strip-mining practice.
The once proud EPA that promised "to protect 95% of aquatic life and fresh water streams in central Appalachia" and defend the Clean Water Act and health of coalfield residents has succumbed to right-wing political and legal pressures.
Hailing a new study on birth defects related to mountaintop removal mining, leaders have issued a new appeal to Appalachian and national civil rights and environmental organizations to demand a moratorium until the government can effectively mitigate a spiraling humanitarian crisis.