Well, the roller coaster to end mountaintop removal has yet to end. Tuesday afternoon, the media exploded with the news that the EPA was putting a freeze on new valley fill permits — then a few hours later we learned they were only looking at the permits. Which, as other have said, is still a point for celebration — even if it is pathetic we have to celebrate the fact that the government is going to start thinking about maybe following the law regarding mountaintop removal.
This didn’t stop the coal industry from dissolving into a quivering mass of hysteria, which included grandstanding from politicans, inspired some impressive yellow journalism and of course the industry threatened to lay off every miner and everyone who ever thought about mining and practically eveyone who has an “m” in their job title for good measure.
It also inspired some very helpful and inspiring writing – noting that this decision isn’t a threat to Appalachia, it’s an opportunity to re-build and diversify our economy with safe green jobs — with 60,000 new jobs in Appalachia from energy efficiency alone!
And the excitement continues: Yesterday a Senate equivalent of the Clean Water Protection Act was introduced — wonderful news–and thanks to all the lobbyists at the End Mountaintop Removal Week in Washington last week. Stay tuned for updates. Press release and full bill below.