Source: The Triangulator
Rep. Pricey Harrison, D-Guilford, has introduced a bill that would make it illegal for electric public utilities in North Carolina to purchase, or use, coal derived from dynamiting mountaintops in southern Appalachia. Half of the coal used to produce electricity in North Carolina is derived from the process, known as mountaintop removal, resulting in radically altered ecosystems, polluted streams and rivers, and billions of tons of toxic “coal slurry,” collected in artificial pools, or injected into ground soil. Other than Georgia, no other state in the U.S. uses more mountaintop removal-derived coal.
“Because North Carolina burns a significant amount of coal extracted by mountaintop removal coal mining, we have an obligation to eliminate or reduce the devastating social and environmental impacts of this mining in the Appalachian Mountains,” the bill states.
Harrison introduced a similar bill last year, saying she was motivated in part by 2008 Indies Arts Award winner Michael O’Connell’s documentary, Mountaintop Removal, which focuses on the devastating effect on Appalachian families.
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