Obama spaketh, and it was good: “We have to find more environmentally sound ways of mining coal than simply blowing the tops off mountains,” he proclaimed.
And, yea, in the mountains and down through all the valleys of the ancient land of Appalachia, hearts were filled with joy, for here was a prophet of hope who was signaling that a change was coming — at last, the endtime was at hand for the brutish coal-mining method called “mountaintop removal,” which is an abomination.
Even as the people rejoiced at this good news, coal barons trembled in their temples of black gold. For a decade, these mighty extractors of wealth had been allowed to accumulate unto themselves enormous profits by exploding the tops off the peaks in Appalachia, the oldest mountain range in all the land. With the top third of these awesome, forested mountains reduced to rubble, the barons used giant machines to strip out seams of coal, and then they simply shoved the rubble and toxic coal waste down the mountainsides, burying the valleys and streams below. It was a desecration — but the love of mammon made it the law of the land.
Then, behold, now the prophet became president, so he was in a position to put his words into action.
And act, he did. On May 15, it was announced that Barack Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency had quietly approved 42 of 48 new Appalachian mining permits sought by the coal barons.
Say what? The prophet of change and hope just OK-ed more desecration by coal mining profiteers? What in the name of a mysterious God is going on here?
Politics. Politics at its weaseliest. Industry supporters point out that while Obama had expressed his concern about this detestable practice in last year’s presidential race, he had not actually promised to halt it. Cute, huh?
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