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  •  Ummmmmm (1+ / 0-)
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    Water?  Perhaps you're not local, AoT, but did you realize that pretty much all of the water used by urban areas east of the Mississippi originates in rainfall over Appalachia?  One of your best reasons to regulate the crap out of mining in those mountains is that shit flows downstream, where it ends up in the water supplies of places like New York, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C.

    If western Virginia were an independent nation it could impound the water that falls in its territory for profit, and hold every city from Annapolis south to Charleston hostage until they paid for it.  Instead, the lowlanders get all they want, and then complain about poor and ignorant "hillbillies" who wander down looking for work.

    •  LOL. You can't "impound" the water. (1+ / 0-)
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      Water in (rainfall) has to equal water out (runoff and rivers), unless you want to put every Appalachian Valley underwater.  The people of Appalachia do not generously give their water to the low areas, gravity does that.  That's a bit like suggesting that the midwest is very generous in letting its wind reach you.

      Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

      by bigtimecynic on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 07:18:29 AM PST

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      •  Uh, dams? (0+ / 0-)

        Water projects?  Causes big fusses all the time in dryland areas.  I've been told that some homeowners in Colorado are prohibited from caching the rainwater that drains from their roofs because the water has already been allocated to other users as part of the Colorado watershed.  Several near wars have started along the Turkish border due to dam projects on rivers that have provided necessary water for settlements downstream since the time of Moses.

        Riparian rights have a LOOOOOONNNG history.  And they're very poorly allocated with regard to the Appalachian watershed because water there has always been plentiful.  But urban areas are already experiencing shortages, leading to negotiations for supplies naturally cached in lakes.  Over the last decade, for instance, Lake Gaston in North Carolina has become a target for export to the Greater Richmond area of Virginia.  

        I'm just pointing out that a less cavalier and generous attitude towards our natural resources (in keeping with the Republican ethic of making sure none of the good things in life are free) would turn Appalachia's traditional poverty on its head.  The only reason the hills are poor, like all undeveloped nature reserves, is that they have traditionally provided all of their important natural resources to their neighbors for free.

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