Last week, blasting began on Coal River Mountain in West Virginia. This is a part of the country where dynamite routinely goes off—turning the region’s historic mountain ranges into dust for the tiny coal seams that lie beneath their surface.
But Coal River Mountain is special, or, rather, you can decide whether it becomes special. Right now, Coal River Mountain represents the best and worst our country has to offer. It is one of the most dangerous examples of blasting for dirty coal and one of the most profound examples of hope that exist in our country. It is a crossroads.
Coal River Mountain can be a wind farm that provides 85,000 households with electricity, creates 700 long-term green jobs, gives back $1.7 million in annual county taxes and stands as a model for clean energy across coal country. Or, it can be a 6,000-acre dirty energy wasteland.
Stretching across thousands of acres of diverse and pristine hardwood forests, Coal River Mountain is one of the last intact mountains in the vicinity. It is also home to some of the few remaining headwater streams that have not been polluted with heavy metal-laden mine waste. To local reside... Read more