Coal Industry : Need For Coal Produces Environmental Damage

3915 Words May 1st, 2015 16 Pages
Cassidy Selep
AP Language
1 May 2015
Coal Craze: Need for Coal Produces Environmental Damage I sat quietly in the large van. Everyone was quiet. We were swaying back and forth as the car rounded each bend, moving with the mountain. The car slowly climbed up, revealing more peaks. I took in the atmosphere with every breath. The mountain rose and fell like sand dunes. Fog blanketed the mountaintop illuminating the green tree tops and emphasizing the dark leaves of others. The van continued in peace. As we swung around one last corner, the silence was broken and a unified gasp filled the vehicle. Our sight was stolen. The utopian mountaintop was replaced with flat, gray, barren land. The passengers were shocked and the murmurs bubbled up. What is that? What is going on? Bob-O? The driver, Bob-O, responded: coal mining. Coal? How could something that benefits the U.S. be a product of something so destructive? Coal is mostly used to generate power. The United States has one of the largest coal reserves in the world (“Where is Coal Found”). The most popular method of coal mining is surface mining, which can excavate up to 90% or more of the coal. This process involves removing the mountaintop by explosives and placing excess rock, overburden, into valley fills (“Coal Mining”). Surface mining has created much environmental damage along with hurting the social and economical aspects of the people of Appalachia’s lives. With a combination of rules, regulations, and…
Open Document