Mountaintop Removal Discussion in Wood County

By: Shannon Houser Email
By: Shannon Houser Email


Although Wood County doesn't have to worry about mountaintop removal for coal mining here, County Commissioner, Blair Couch says it's an important issue to discuss because it's an issue many Wood County residents are passionate about.

Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition project coordinator, Vivian Stockman explained to attendees the dangers of mountaintop coal mining, including health risks. "Mountaintop removal coal mining is devastating regions where it's practiced and it's not just the environment, it's the people that live nearby. There's human health effects and entire communities are being driven into extinction."

Stockman also says that extreme flooding can be caused during the mountaintop removal process and can affect homes near the construction sites.

The commission decided to not take action on this issue until both sides of the argument are heard.


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  • by ViennaGuy Location: Vienna on Aug 24, 2011 at 08:27 AM
    We wouldn't even be having this discussion about mountaintop removal if the EPA had not over-regulated conventional coal mining back in the 1970s. It's time to revisit those regulations and see if they can be revised. Make conventional mining techniques inexpensive enough, and mountaintop removal will become a thing of the past. And no, eliminating coal as a source of energy will not solve the longer-term problem of energy needs.
  • by Steve Location: Mineral Wells on Aug 24, 2011 at 06:39 AM
    For those of you who support mountaintop removal you should be ashamed to call yourself a Mountaineer who lives in the Mountain State. Blowing up our own mountains to save a little money on coal. West Virginia generates more money from tourism than it does from coal. This will definitely have an affect on tourism and there are other methods to get coal.
  • by judd Location: little hocking oh on Aug 24, 2011 at 05:04 AM
    Call me a tree hugger but I love what God gave us. Mountians, not rolling hills. Hardwood trees not pines. Streams that flow back and forth not staight line streams with the same width and depth. The state leaders control this and have been filling their pockets for to long. Make them stand with you or look for a job. Remember it is all of you that own the wonderful state of West Virginia.
    • reply
      by Another?..... on Aug 24, 2011 at 10:17 AM in reply to judd
      "Made up on the spot claim"....If tourism made us more money, we would have a tourism severance tax....not a coal severance one!! QUIT LYING!!!! Just because you anti-MTR folks say it.....IT DOESN'T MEAN IT'S TRUE!!!
  • by Lyla Location: parkersburg, wv on Aug 24, 2011 at 02:41 AM
    The land is NOT in much better shape. It looks like a chia pet. And it is not "more usable." That is absurd. Usable for what? I did hear about a coal company building a golf course on some reclaimed land. Yeah, I bet that's really useful to residents of one of the poorest regions in the country. MTR supplies a very small percentage of coal to the US power supply. You would have lights without MTR, I am sure of that. MTR is disgusting. You are taking a mountain that took literally millions of years to form and blowing it up in a matter of moments. You are destroying the way of life of people that live on and in the valley of those mountains. if you work for coal, you are biased and not telling the truth. I have no financial connection to the coal industry, it doesn't feed my family so I have no reason to lie for them or be deluded by them. I have examined this regions, seen them with my own two eyes and spoken to the residents. Supporting MTR is supporting devastation. And I love how MTR activists are always accused of being outsiders. There are hundreds of anti-MTR activists in the coal fields, lifelong residents. And FYI, the "jobs" created by MTR are largely going to outsiders, themselves. Southern WV remains one of the poorest, worst educated, and unhealthy regions of the country, much less the state. If coal/MTR is so good for it, then why?
    • reply
      by Informed on Aug 24, 2011 at 09:30 AM in reply to Lyla
      Its a shame Lyla, just reading a few comments of how misinformed people are on this subject. Looks like some think its coal mining and have no clue what MTR is. I hope and pray these people do some internet searches on this subject and see the devestation.
  • by Sam Location: Beckly on Aug 23, 2011 at 05:11 PM
    @ mike - I don't know if you actually believe that rhetoric you're trying to sell or if you are some type of facilitator for these companies. Go speak with some real southern Appalachian people whose land belonged to several generations and was completely destroyed. Ask them if they think the land is better now than it was for many thousands of years before mountaintop removal mining was finished with it. It is all about big companies exploitation on the helpless and the gullible in for the sake of greed.
    • reply
      by mike on Aug 25, 2011 at 06:04 AM in reply to Sam
      Well that won't be hard for me to do since I am one of those people that have land in the southern appalachian moutains. So why don't you just ask me, I am one of those people you speak of. May I ask where you are from.
  • by mike Location: oak hill on Aug 23, 2011 at 01:17 PM
    The land that is reclaimed after they are through mining is in much better shape than before they started. You see all these tree hugging protesters yelling about the land but they are mostly from up north and don't even live around here and would not care about your land at all to begin with. I have lived in coal mining land most of my life, take it from me, let them mine the coal and produce jobs and everything that goes along with the creation of all those jobs and when they are done, sit back and enjoy the land they have returned to even better than before. Don't let the trouble making tree huggers ruin a good thing.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Aug 24, 2011 at 05:28 AM in reply to mike
      All those jobs???? You said mining. This is not mining this is blasting the tops off of mountains and destroying the area. True coal mining has more jobs for the working man than this garbage. So if your for jobs then you should be against this too. But oh wait your going to believe your multi-billion dollar company that feeds your brain with lies. Tree huggers are crying about the land and you are crying about the jobs. So how about you fight for mining coal the old fashion way where you have more jobs and less destruction.
      • reply
        by mike on Aug 25, 2011 at 05:58 AM in reply to
        I don't care how they go about getting the coal just as long as they reclaim the land afterwards. As for beliveing the coal companys, well I don't believe anything they say without finding out myself. All I'm saying is let them mine coal in whatever way they want, it does not destroy the land. Oh they tear it up temporaryly but then it is reclaimed better than before.By the way, do you live around here?
  • by Anonymous on Aug 23, 2011 at 10:25 AM
    The tree hugging libtards are against any economic development.
    • reply
      by DAR on Aug 24, 2011 at 05:33 AM in reply to
      yup those tree huggers what are they thinkin. i want all the mountains of wv blasted and this state to look like rock and rubble. who needs trees anyway...birds? we dont eat birds. we need to keep makin the rich richer while i live pay check to pay check to feed my faimly. as long as we have jobs who cares about the future
  • by Nothanks! on Aug 23, 2011 at 09:50 AM
    Wow do people really want this? Think about it they are removing a mountain? There is nothing left but rock. How can you grow more trees without soil and dirt? This is an easy quick way for coal companies to make fast money. The effects are terrible.
    • reply
      by Have you?..... on Aug 24, 2011 at 05:46 AM in reply to Nothanks!
      Not ever been up to the reclaimed strip mines above Lowell, Ohio? That land was turned upside down 40 years ago, and it has an over-abundance of trees, fish-filled lakes, and other wildlife. This INCREDIBLE MYTH that nothing ever grows back at a strip mine is a falsehood of the highest magnitude!! I have hundreds of pictures of wildlife on strip mines. THE EARTH HEALS ITSELF OVER TIME!! Get over it!!
      • reply
        by Uknownothing on Aug 24, 2011 at 09:23 AM in reply to Have you?.....
        Hey Have you?....The strip mines are called the strip mines because they strip the land! This is MOUNTAIN TOP REMOVAL!!! Two totally different ways to get coal. You have no clue what MTR is...NO CLUE! How the heck are you going to replace trees and wildlife with nothing but ROCK!!! ROCK is whats left after MTR. Do your research before you post comments that have nothing to do with MOUNTAIN TOP REMOVAL!
        • reply
          by KnowmorethanU.... on Aug 25, 2011 at 11:40 AM in reply to Uknownothing
          Telling more lies doesn't make your argument better!! It's not rock when it's done!! Trees do grow back!! The fact that you enviro-whackies have to lie to make "your point" is the reason so many people distrust your groups and your opinions. SHOW ME ANY CLOSED, FINISHED MTR SITE THAT IS BARREN AFTER 1 YEAR...go ahead, give me a website. With as many supposed poorly reclaimed sites....that should only take you about a minute to produce?
        • reply
          by Time's up!! on Aug 25, 2011 at 12:30 PM in reply to Uknownothing
          Your failure to post proof that MTR is permanently damaging shows it is you who does not have a clue!! Again....just because you tell the lie, doesn't make it any more true!!
      • reply
        by Uknownothing on Aug 26, 2011 at 06:07 AM in reply to Have you?.....
        TIMES UP??? How about Google Earth. There are tons of websites but you will continue to call them lies and me a tree hugger! Look on google earth outreach and look at Appalachian Mountaintop Removal. Do a search on google and see tons of websites. But I bet its all fake in your eyes. And by the way Im not against coal Im against MTR. And you say the earth heals itself? It takes hundreds of millions of years to for mountains to form. Go to southern WV and look at the devastation..you can see it from google earth. Wake Up!
  • by Kim Location: Parkersburg, WV on Aug 23, 2011 at 09:12 AM
    Hmmm... I guess no one enjoys turning on the lights, a/c in the summer or heat in the winter. Wood County reaps the benefits of coal severance taxes, along with the other 55 counties. The federal gov't. has reclamation guidelines which must be followed. They are also responsible for following up reclaims. My father worked in the coal business from the 60's to the mid-90's, and had some of the most beautiful reclaimed property in the state. Coal is WV!
    • reply
      by Coal on Aug 24, 2011 at 05:38 AM in reply to Kim
      HEY KIM!!!! Do you understand the difference in coal mining, strip mining, and mountain top removal??? Im all for coal and coal mining but not for Mountain Top Removal. Its a fast,destructive,easy, and creates less jobs than the other ways to get coal. When you level a mountain whats left??? Rock! Do some research on it. My grandfather was a coal miner and once he seen what mountain top removal does he is totally against it.
      • reply
        by Kim on Aug 25, 2011 at 11:03 AM in reply to Coal
        Yes I do "Coal". My father did it all, and in a wonderful manner too. It's been my family's livelihood for 50 years or more. Yes, I've done my research too. MTR is selective, not used everywhere. If you're so dead-set against coal, do us all a favor and turn off your lights, a/c and heat!
        • reply
          by Coal on Aug 26, 2011 at 06:16 AM in reply to Kim
          LOL your funny lights a/c and heat??? Yes MTR is selective in the poor sections of one of the poorest states in this country...West Virgninia. The companies keep it that way to keep it hush from the media. Like I said in my statement before Im not against coal Im against MTR. I want it out of West Virginia...I want our mountains and our people taken better care of than whats going on. Why can't they get coal the old fashion way? And if coal produces all the lights,a/c,and heat then why is WV still one of the poorest states in the country? You actually think without coal all of us Americans will be without power? Wow
  • by The Commission..... on Aug 23, 2011 at 05:55 AM
    Has no action to take! They are wasting time with a problem that is not their's to worry about. Stick with running Wood County and stay out of the fray that mountaintop mining is. There are enough on both sides making a fuss about without the county commissioners sticking their nose into it!!
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