Hundreds Protest Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Several hundred protesters have trooped up the Capitol steps to protest the form of coal mining known as mountaintop removal.

The rally has become an annual Valentine's Day rite in Frankfort to show support for perennial, but so far unsuccessful, legislation that would effectively end the controversial practice.

The demonstrators Thursday demanded a transition away from coal-powered energy and also called for better working conditions for workers in Kentucky's coal industry.

Mountaintop removal clears forests and blasts rock to extract coal, often dumping dirt, rock and rubble in nearby valleys. Coalfield lawmakers shrug off claims by environmentalists about the damage caused by mountaintop removal, effectively killing all bills that would stop it, including two pending in the Kentucky General Assembly this year.

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