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View Diary: Mini-Keystone XLs all across America (18 comments)

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  •  Great diary. Horrifying issue. (6+ / 0-)

    This is such an important issue as the orgy of fossil fuels extraction continues to grow thanks to the corruption of our democracy. Having effectively demonized the climate crisis, the energy companies are now selling these projects as creating jobs and cheap energy. These are lies. Production of things like coal is increasing, but the number employed is declining rapidly. The reason for that is the preference for surface mining over underground mining. Labor costs are next to zero because all the operations require is explosives, heavy mechanization, and a few dozen employees. And more and more of the high BTU coal is being exported to Asian markets for use in steel production. Meanwhile, all the negative environmental impacts on passed on to communities. Absurd amounts of water will be wasted and poisoned. Poisoned air. Poisoned soil. Reclamation has always been a big fucking joke. Ridiculous carbon footprint. All of this is bad enough in any location, but particularly destructive of our natural heritage when it is on the edge of a national park.

    You mention that Arch Coal is cutting back on its operations at Dugout Canyon. The reason given is bullshit. Arch is looking to expand surface mining operations in the Powder River Basin and mountaintop removal operations in Appalachia. (Arch Coal is the asshole corporation behind the Spruce Mountain mountaintop removal mine in WV, the largest ever proposed.) The demand for the product on the global market remains strong but their profit margins are much higher with surface mining.

    The bottom line in the Alton project is an easy to reach seam that they exhaust within a few years and move on, leaving the mess for future generations to clean up. Any jobs created will be gone in a few years. The environmental destruction will be permanent, all so a few assholes running Alton can get rich and few assholes in office can get campaign contributions (aka bribes).

    Be radical in your compassion.

    by DWG on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 02:15:22 AM PST

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