The Mountaintop Removal (MTR) Working Group addresses various issues surrounding mountaintop removal coal mining, particularly in Appalachia. Our group coordinates action with local groups, based on their experience “on the ground.” Serious water pollution problems from coal runoff and chemicals used in the washing process, along with small particulate air emissions, are having very disturbing effects on the health of the communities living near the many MTR sites in the region. We strongly support the federal funding of black lung benefits for affected miners. These funds are included in the Build Back Better legislation, which coal communities still hope will pass.
We have been actively advocating for the RECLAIM Act and re-authorization of the Abandoned Mine Lands Act to help clean up inadequately restored mine sites and to help fund economic diversification in traditionally coal-producing communities. We are pleased that these measures totaling $11.3 billion were included in the recently passed Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
We also study and discuss the complex political relationships between the coal industry, miners’ unions, and climate change mitigation efforts. For more information on the activities of this group, contact Cojourner Carol Warren.