Appalachia, a region of extraordinary beauty and natural diversity, is under attack. Mountaintop removal is strip mining on steroids—a radically destructive form of surface mining whereby coal companies bulldoze the forest, decapitate the peaks with explosives, push the shattered rubble into adjacent valleys, and destroy the ecologically crucial headwater streams that had been there before. This is an ecological and human tragedy of epic proportions—and yet few Americans realize how the coal industry, seeking maxium profit and abetted by lax government regulation, is turning an entire region into an undeclared national energy sacrifice zone.

Plundering Appalachia is a searing exposé, in words and images, of the greatest ecological calamity now being wreaked upon America—an outrage justified by the desire for “cheap” power. With large-format photography and engaging writing from Wendell Berry, Judy Bonds, Ross Gelbspan, Denise Giardina, Richard Heinberg, Mary Anne Hitt, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., David Orr, Carl Pope, Erik Reece, Vivian Stockman, and others, Plundering Appalachia illuminates Big Coal’s assault on the people and wildlife of the region. The book includes first-person testimonies from coalfields residents about life in the shadow of mountaintop-mining operations, and dissects the current coal-powered energy economy that is toxic to people and nature—and helping cook the planet.

Ultimately, Plundering Appalachia offers hope, celebrating the growing movement led by Appalachian citizens to stop mountaintop-mining, heal their communities, and fight the industry’s dirty lie that coal is clean.

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Copyright 2009 — Plundering Appalachia: The Tragedy of Mountaintop-Removal Coal Mining

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