Published in the Lexington Herald-Leader on Saturday, December 2, 2006
TRUTH ABOUT MINING
Humanity has changed the form of the Earth since well before biblical times. Many misconceptions are repeated so often that they are accepted as fact.
Mining in and of itself does not cause flooding in Appalachia. Streams are not destroyed by mining. Small ephemeral streams are rerouted by designed and engineered fills exactly as in highway construction.
In fact, mountaintop mining is very similar to highway construction. Instead of an English professor, ask the dozens of professors of engineering and science at the University of Kentucky performing research to improve the environment after mining.
Land left after mining is some of the most valuable land in Appalachia and will provide even more opportunities for future generations. There are now airports, hospitals, schools, golf courses, houses, recreation, farms and abundant wildlife flourishing on reclaimed mines.
No one can deny problems in the industry, just as there are in any other human endeavor.
We are striving to make improvements and, as a Christian, I am proud of the mountaintops and plateaus of Appalachia.
J. Steven Gardner