Mountaintop Mining : The Natural Beauty And Biodiversity Of The Appalachian Environment

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With its rolling hills and breathtaking foliage, Central Appalachia is home to some of America 's most beautiful views, attracting thousands of tourists to the region each year. However, Central Appalachia is also home to vast deposits of energy resources, mainly coal. In order to extract this supply of cheap energy, mining companies have turned to a practice called mountaintop removal mining, or simply mountaintop mining. Mountaintop mining is a form of surface mining that involves removing the tops and sides of a summit in order to more quickly and efficiently remove underlying coal deposits. Although this kind of mining is cheaper than traditional subsurface methods, its social and environmental costs are steep, making it a major source of contention in both the Central Appalachian region and America as a whole. Elements of mountaintop removal mining that have contributed to its controversial nature are how it affects the economies of surrounding communities, leads to poor bodily health, and warps the natural beauty and biodiversity of the Appalachian environment.
Mountaintop removal mining, otherwise known as mountaintop mining, began in Appalachia in the 1960s as an extension of conventional strip mining techniques. In this form of mining, the top and sides of a summit are altered or removed in order to extract underlying coal deposits. This method allows coal mining companies to reach coal that would normally be too difficult or dangerous to

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