The I Love Mountains campaign points out that, “Children in Appalachian coal mining communities are 42% more likely to be born with birth defects and have a life expectancy that is almost 5 years lower than the national average.”
Mountain Justice explains that, with mountaintop removal coal mining, “Mountaintop removal generates huge amounts of waste. While the solid waste becomes valley fills, liquid waste is stored in massive, dangerous coal slurry impoundments, often built in the headwaters of a watershed. The slurry is a witch’s brew of water used to wash the coal for market, carcinogenic chemicals used in the washing process and coal fines (small particles) laden with all the compounds found in coal, including toxic heavy metals such as arsenic and mercury.”
Yesterday, the House of Representatives saw the introduction of H.R. 526, a bill that if passed into law would create a moratorium on mountaintop removal coal mining until studies of the health impacts of the extreme mining method.
So far, the members of Congress who have signed their names in support of this bill are:
John Yarmuth, Louise Slaughter, John Conyers, Rush Holt, Raul Grijalva, John Sarbanes, James Moran, Donna Edwards, Judy Chu, Earl Blumenauer, Keith Ellison, Charles Rangel, Jared Huffman, Barbara Lee, Michael Lee, Jan Schakowsky, Pete DeFazio, Matthew Cartwright, Rosa DeLauro, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Chellie Pingree, James McDermott, Eleanor Holmes Norton, and Jared Polis.
Is your U.S. Representative on the list?