Hydraulic Fracturing Is Not The Only Cause For Ethical Concern

1894 Words Dec 5th, 2015 8 Pages
Hydraulic fracturing is not the only cause for ethical concern. Mountaintop removal for the purposes of coal mining is an incredibly harmful procedure taking place on our planet. This destructive action being taken by companies looking to access coal underneath mountains is not only damaging to the earth and environment, but is also affecting humans who live near these sites (The Destructive Process of Mountaintop Removal). Companies is West Virginia and Kentucky can take virtually any mountain they choose and level it because laws are created in the favor of coal mining companies.
The process of mountaintop removal is a drawn out process that eventually leaves the earth it is leveling unusable. First, the mountain is cleared of trees, plants, and topsoil. The trees below are often cleared as well to make room for the rubble that will take their place. The next step involves blasting the top of the mountain. “Ammonium nitrate explosives” are used to “blast through up to 1,000 feet of the mountain in order to access coal seams” (The Destructive Process of Mountaintop Removal). During this time dust and toxic chemicals like silica, fall over surrounding areas sometimes even neighborhoods and communities. As noted before, silica is known to cause the lung disease silicosis, so it is disturbing that one of these removal sites is within several hundred yards of an elementary school (Hoffman). After blasting, the coal companies dig through the debris with enormous machines. The…

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