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Articles by Trip Van Noppen

Trip Van Noppen is president of Earthjustice, a nonprofit public interest law firm dedicated to protecting the magnificent places, natural resources, and wildlife of this earth, and to defending the right of all people to a healthy environment.

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A new poll [PDF] released today reveals that people in the heart of America’s coal country resoundingly disapprove of mountaintop-removal mining.

A strong majority of Appalachians told pollsters they oppose the practice — 57 percent to 20 percent. Opposition is strong in all four states where the polling took place — West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia — and across all education levels and political affiliations, including among those who identify as Republicans or Tea Partiers. 

Appalachians also overwhelmingly support stronger, not weaker, clean water protections for their streams, rivers, and lakes. Fully 75 percent of Republican voters and 68 percent of Tea Party supporters in this survey said they support increasing Clean Water Act protections from mountaintop-removal coal mining.

A recent national poll by CNN also revealed strong opposition to mountaintop-removal mining. But when that poll was released last week, coal industry lobbyists were quick to say that the opposition came from residents of America’s liberal coasts, whom they claimed don’t understand Appalachia and thereby don’t get to w... Read more