Hillary Clinton was asked about mountaintop-removal mining in an interview on West Virginia public radio (mp3 link) this morning. Her answer was, in my eyes, terribly disappointing. Here it is:

I am concerned about it for all the reasons people state, but I think it’s a difficult question because of the conflict between the economic and environmental trade-off that you have here.

I’m not an expert. I don’t know enough to have an independent opinion, but I sure would like people who could be objective, understanding both the economic necessities and environmental damage, to come up with some approach that would enable us to retrieve the coal but would enable us to do it in a way that wouldn’t damage the living standards and the other important qualities associated with people living both under the mountaintop and people who are along the streams.

You know, maybe there is a way to recover those mountaintops once they have been stripped of the coal. You know, I think we’ve got to look at this from a practical perspective.

“Economic necessities”? “Trade-offs”? Here’s a trade-off:

MTR jobs

Gosh, those lucky duckies in West Virginia’s booming economy just don’t know how good they’ve got it!

Here, incidentally, is how good they’ve got it:

MTR poverty

What a fun trade-off!

These images are taken from the Appalachian Voices blog. I suggest you read the post there for a more measured response than I’m currently able to offer.