The Campaign to End Mountaintop Removal Mining
In this case of mountaintop removal for coal in the Appalachian Mountains of the United States, Laura Bozzi explores the delicate insider-outsider tension of keep-it-in-the ground (KIIG) politics. Mountaintop removal activists recognize both the deep sense of place, history, and culture of the peoples of Appalachia and the impacts of mountaintop removal and coal on local and global ecosystems. This chapter shows how the quick violence of destroying mountains, streams, and rivers creates a slow violence of lung cancer and other diseases, along with diminished educational, employment, and retirement opportunities. Appalachian peoples are effectively pursuing a KIIG politics based on the reality of decreasing coal reserves, ever-increasing mechanization, and declining market share on the one hand, and a dire need for a solution that marries well-being and livelihood on the other. Finally, this chapter explores the uneasy transition of fear of a way of life for locals with the lack of transparency of coal companies.
Keywords: Coal, Appalachia, Mountaintop Removal Mining, Radical Action for Mountain People’s Survival (RAMPS), Coal Economy, Activism, Kentuckians for the Commnwealth (KFTC), Canary Project, Mountain Justice
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