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Putin Shines Over Medvedev, and Water Pollution in Coal Country (with photos!)

I love Foreign Policy Magazine. No matter if it decides to take a bias or not, foreign policy is my favorite thing to discuss and the magazine that devotes itself to it is my bread and butter. I have it on my homepage spread on Safari and generally tend to check the site once a day.

I have a special interest in Russia, and have since I began taking the Russian language. I spent my time reading up about the wildfires and how portions of the countryside quite spontaneously burst into flames in the hot summer weather (in Russia?!?!?). The title of the article was "Medvedev is No Liberal" which I found interesting.

Dmitri Medvedev generally is regarded as being subservient to Vladimir Putin. Given that Putin essentially handpicked Medvedev to run the country once term-limits took away Putin’s hands of the reigns of Presidency in Russia. Medvedev is also seen as having less power than Putin, even though as President he technically is seen as much more powerful than his Prime Minister (however with Putin I imagine it would be impossible to tell him what to do). From what I’ve seen, Medvedev comes off as the more compassionate personality amongst the two whereas Putin remains the hardcore "get stuff done" type of guy. Not true apparently according to FP Magazine.

When your country, simmering for days in record-breaking heat, suddenly bursts into flame in 831 places, destroying half a million acres of land, killing 52 people, blanketing your capital in toxic smoke, and threatening to release old Chernobyl radiation into the atmosphere, someone has to take charge. If you’re the Russian president, however, you will not be that person. You will sit in your office while your prime minister, his sleeves rolled up the way men of action tend to roll them up when they mean business, goes and tours the devastation, talks to grieving villagers, and shows the country that, hey, he’s on it.

Not too pertinent, but I found it interesting enough to share. On to the real stuff, Coal Country.

So as the going trend suggests, I live in WV so Coal issues are very relevant and important to me. Coal now has a stranglehold on the state’s economy and the fatcat coal barons (i.e. Don Blankenship among others) have been padding the pockets the legislature and judicial board for years now.

(If you need reference, look into how much money Blankenship donated to finance Brent Benjamin’s campaign against McGraw on the court a few years back)

Pollution from Coal slurries in West Virginia has been a major problem, as well as the environmental effects of MountainTop Removal Mining across the state

Surface Mining has been a major issue across the state and now, a hearing before a chamber of judges will attempt to go over the environmental issues of Selenium deposits from the surface mines

This afternoon in federal court in Huntington, lawyers, scientists and economists will debate deformed fish, water pollution treatment systems and compliance costs … It’s the first day of what is expected to be a week-long hearing that amounts to a major showdown over selenium discharges by surface coal mines in Appalachia.

U.S. District Judge Robert C. Chambers will be hearing testimony and legal arguments in a combined series of cases in which environmental groups — the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy and the Sierra Club — are trying to force subsidiaries of Patriot Coal to comply with existing pollution limits for selenium.

Source: Coal tattoo

As mentioned in the rest of the article on Coal Tattoo, Selenium deposits poison fish and cause deformities and other problems with the wildlife, This is only fish..

Coal is huge in West Virginia, but we need to diversify our economy.


Legalize Coal? Legalize economic diversity instead!

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Train Cars full of Coal being Transported from Williamson, WV in Mingo County

These Pictures were taken by me when I ventured down to the Southern part of the state last week. The train cars were numbered in the hundreds stretching for no doubt miles. We need Green Jobs in West Virginia and the United States. Where is coal getting us? I don’t disagree that it is crucial to our state’s economy and the balance of jobs in West Virginia, but the trouble it brings is becoming more known.

With the Selenium deposits causing much trouble in the waters of the state, and coal slurries getting into the drinking water of residents who live near them… something must be done.

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Chuckie Corra

Chuckie Corra

I am a young, moderately liberal/progressive Democrat currently residing in the state of West Virginia. I attend Shepherd University, work closely with YDA, and have been active on FDL for about 6 months. I worked with the Elewana Education Project in Kenya to promote technology growth in secondary school students. My focus, then, tends to be on issues effecting WV, environmental issues (specifically coal issues), and growing African democracies specifically Kenya. I'm pretty open-minded