9781933202174

Bringing Down the Mountains: The Impact of Mountaintop Removal Surface Coal Mining on Southern West Virginia Communities, 1970-2004

by
  • ISBN13:

    9781933202174

  • ISBN10:

    1933202173

  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2007-09-30
  • Publisher: UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO PRESS

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Summary

Coal is West Virginia's bread and butter. For more than a century, West Virginia has answered the energy call of the nation-and the world-by mining and exporting its coal. In 2004, West Virginia's coal industry provided almost forty thousand jobs directly related to coal, and it contributed $3.5 billion to the state's gross annual product. And in the same year, West Virginia led the nation in coal exports, shipping over 50 million tons of coal to twenty-three countries. Coal has made millionaires of some and paupers of many. For generations of honest, hard-working West Virginians, coal has put food on tables, built homes, and sent students to college. But coal has also maimed, debilitated, and killed. Bringing Down the Mountainsprovides insight into how mountaintop removal has affected the people and the land of southern West Virginia. It examines the mechanization of the mining industry and the power relationships between coal interests, politicians, and the average citizen. Shirley Stewart Burns holds a BS in news-editorial journalism, a master's degree in social work, and a PhD in history with an Appalachian focus, from West Virginia University. A native of Wyoming County in the southern West Virginia coalfields and the daughter of an underground coal miner, she has a passionate interest in the communities, environment, and histories of the southern West Virginia coalfields. She lives in Charleston, West Virginia.

Author Biography

Shirley Stewart Burns holds a B.S. in newsûeditorial journalism, a master's degree in social work, and a Ph.D. in history, with an Appalachian focus, from West Virginia University. A native of Wyoming County in the southern West Virginia coalfields and the daughter of an underground coal miner, she has a passionate interest in the communities, environment, and histories of the southern West Virginia coalfields. Shirley Stewart Burns lives in Charleston, West Virginia.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. XIII
List of Abbreviationsp. XVII
Introduction: Open for Business: The Shameful Legacy of Natural Resource Extractionp. 1
Making Molehills out of Mountains: Power Relationships and the Rise of Strip Mining in Southern West Virginiap. 9
Solidarity Forever? The UMWA and Southern West Virginiap. 19
To Dance with the Devil: The Social Impact of MTRp. 33
"You Scratch My Back and I'll Scratch Yours": The Political Economy of Coalp. 60
Photographsp. 98
Showdown in Charleston: The Judicial System and MTRp. 99
"Show Me Where to Put My Fishing Pole": The Environmental Impact of MTRp. 118
Epilogue: Requiem for the Mountains? Central Appalachian Coalfieids at a Crossroadp. 141
Notesp. 144
Bibliographyp. 185
An excerpt from John D. Rockefeller's "Citizens to Abolish Surface Mining" Speechp. 200
Coal Impoundments Found in the Nine Southern Coalfield Counties of West Virginiap. 202
Coal-slurry Spill Information for the Nine Southern Coalfield Counties of West Virginiap. 209
Indexp. 211
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