I would like to apologize to John Milton fans, but it seems the Bush Administration is doing all they can to assure that Paradise will indeed be lost once again. According to this report from the AP via the Lexington Herald-Leader:
The Interior Department has advanced a proposal that would ease restrictions on dumping mountaintop mining waste near rivers and streams, modifying protections that have been in place – though often circumvented by mining companies – for a quarter-century.
Now, for the record, this will effect folks in eastern Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, and probably Pennsylvania and Tennessee. I am a Kentucky native, although not from this part of the state most affected. (And the John Prine song linked above is from the strip mining area in the western part of the state.) But I can state categorically that these rules will result in many unintended consequences. Although, truth be told, I imagine the coal companies and Mr Bush don’t particularly care about how this will impact folks who actually live in these regions.
If these rules go through and are allowed to stand in the new administration we are looking at more pollution in the sky from burning the coal. We are looking at far more pollution in streams and rivers, waterways that are not just local to the states I list but feed into larger rivers, carrying the pollution further and further from its source. Pollution in the ground waters. Mountain tops removed with nothing left but detritus and waste.
I can’t even go into the devastation to the forests and natural resources of these rules as I’m not an eco-biologist. Just use your imagination then figure that most of our imaginations are not able to comprehend the overall devastation that will result.