I suppose I should have something to say about the Bush administration’s latest effort to encourage mountaintop removal mining. But what? It’s not like there’s any particular analytical insight required. The Bushies are choosing profit for coal companies over some of America’s most beautiful landscapes and oldest cultures. It’s right there in the open.

What’s required in situations like this is not analysis but brute power politics. The administration makes it clear that they don’t give much of a damn about feedback:

The Office of Surface Mining in the Interior Department drafted the rule, which will be subject to a 60-day comment period and could be revised, although officials indicated that it was not likely to be changed substantially.

Hear that? It won’t be changed, no matter what you punks say.

But that’s just puffery, predicated on the expectation that there won’t be any outcry, or that the outcry will be confined to the usual suspects — a packet of postcards from the Sierra Club, etc.

That prediction, I’m sad to say, is probably a safe one. A widespread, coordinated protest by a broad swath of Americans could prevent this, but I doubt such protest will be forthcoming.

After all, this kind of mining has been going on in obvious contravention of the law for years now, and there’s been little protest. Why would we expect protest now that the Bushies are changing the law to make it legal?