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Re: E-M:/ Love mountains? Hate coal!

Enviro-Mich message from "Anna Dorothy Graham" <grahama9@msu.edu>

I wonder, too, how many of you have experienced what "mountaintop removal" is actually like?
You might be familiar with a certain feature from seeing in passing it for years, even hiking on it. The Appalachian mountains have a wonderful diversity, with windswept plateaus of low-growing oak scrub and even alpine conditions at the peaks, and forests in the folds of the mountains, lower down, of oak, tulip trees, hickories, and underbrush of rhododendron, azaleas, wildflowers, Christmas fern. There are bogs on some of the plateaus, and the whole thing is very, very beautiful, especially in the spring when dogwood, redbud, and the flowering shrubs are in bloom, or in places where springs make the undergrowth especially lush.

Then one day, you drive past again, and that familiar mountaintop is gone. At first, there's just a scar. Then the "economic redevelopment" begins -- it might be an industrial park spread out over acres of newly seeded grass lawn, or a ski resort, similarly sterile, with all of the natural irregularities of the mountain gone, and all of the native plants replaced with grass and the occasional sapling planted for shade. The stream beds have been filled in with debris from the blasting, and the animals and birds are gone.

A few years ago, when we were passing through West Virginia, we heard the story of a family living in one of the folds of the mountains when blasting occurred. A boulder had fallen on their baby's bedroom, crushing him as he slept, and they were seeking redress.
That's what mountaintop removal is like.

Eighteen *coal-fired power plants in Michigan* are connected to* mountaintop removal,* a radical form of coal mining in which mountains are literally blown up. If you want to see the connection between your own power plant and the mountaintop it's removing, go to I Love Mountains.org <http://ilovemountains.org/>and plug in your zip code. With up to seven--yes, seven--new dirty coal plants proposed for Michigan, our state's giant carbon footprint is warming our planet and destroying our mountains. You can take action with Michigan lawmakers to help block these new coal plants by going to Stop the Coal Rush <http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/2155/t/203/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY =21874>.

Anna Kirkwood Graham, J.D., Ph.D.
"There is no trifling with nature; it is always true, grave and severe; it is always in the right, and the faults and errors fall to our share."
-- Goethe

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