There is a must read by Lisa Sorg at Indy Weekly regarding several notable NC environmental bills currently in committee. One bill, if passed could put an end to the devastation in Appalachia caused by mountaintop coal removal, the bill seeks to prohibit utility companies from using newly mined coal extracted by that method.

A member of Save Our Cumberland Mountains, League testified before the House Committee on Environment and Natural Resources this week, advocating for a bill that would prohibit utility companies from using newly mined coal extracted by that method in North Carolina power plants. Under House Bill 340/ SB 341, the utilities could honor existing contracts, but after those agreements expire, no new mountaintop coal could be used.

Clearly it is time we protect our resources and move past the baseless arguments made by utility companies. As Sorg points out in her article, the utility companies, Duke Energy and Progress Energy (in an attempt to  maintain their profit margins) opposed the bill, citing it is too expensive. Furthermore, their lies myths  for the continued use of the mountaintop removal method have been debunked and the destruction is getting some much needed exposure.

Rep. Phil Haire, a Democrat from Sylva, in western N.C., is one of the bill’s four primary sponsors. “Money is a scare tactic. Seventy percent of the coal comes from underground,” said Haire, who grew up in mining areas of West Virginia. “The amount of destruction that has rained on this part of America—I have a hard time reconciling that in my mind.”

Watch the abbreviated version of a mountaintop removal video featured on