Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Southwestern VA coal country, even with its own mountaintop removal, disappoints GOP

The Washington Post has a story Wednesday October 23, 2013, on the front page, about weakening GOP support in the coal country of southwestern Virginia, particularly with respect to gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli II.  The link to the story by Ben Pershing is here

The GOP has behaved like the proverbial ostrich when it comes to limiting carbon emissions and protecting mountaintops, and streams.  
     
The story caught my eye because one of the three short stories in my upcoming “DADT III” book reports on an “Expedition” I made with a former graduate school roommate in the spring of 1972 to the coal country in southwestern Virginia.  The “mountaintop removal” in southern West Virginia is fairly well known, but it extends into the far triangular vertex of extreme SW Virginia.  The Post story includes some pictures from the coal area, including an image of the Red Onion surface mine near Pound.
  
The damage to the mountains along state highway 83 and then US 23 (“The Trail of the Lonesome Pine”) had been extreme in 1972 but had largely been cleaned up and replanted before another visit I made to the area in 1990.  I visited the area also in 2005.

Picture: VA-KY border, 2005.  

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