But surely, you say, they won't do all that much blasting in Iron County because they'll have all those 2000 men and women in the pit. That's not the way modern mining works.
“If you try to do what they do in West Virginia in the Berkshires, the
Catskills or the Sierra Nevadas, or in Utah or Colorado, people would just put
you in jail,” [Bobby} Kennedy told us.
“Over the past 10 years, they’ve blown up and leveled an area of eastern Kentucky and southern West Virginia that is larger than the size of Delaware. They’ve blown up the 500 biggest mountains in West Virginia. They explode everyday 2,500 tons of dynamite, or ammonia nitrate explosives. It’s the equivalent of a Hiroshima bomb once a week. And they take the rock and debris and rubble and dump it into the adjacent river valley.”
How do they get away with it? Why do these things happen in West Virginia?
Haney told us that the industry’s argument that they need to engage in
mountaintop removal to protect jobs doesn’t hold up when you realize that
companies are extracting more coal with fewer workers.
“We’re both sensitive to the fact the economy is in a vulnerable place and that Americans need work. But it’s also a giant mythology,” Haney said. “The reality is that the coal industry has been using these explosives that Bobby was just talking about to eliminate jobs.”
“They get away with it in West Virginia because as in every place where youAnd, that's why having a Governor at the beck and call of the Koch Brothers is a bad thing. Not because business is inherently evil but because government controlled by business is unable to act in the public good. The politics of Big Coal or of Big Iron is the same. They show fewer symptoms of conscience or discretion than a 19 year-old boy on MD 20-20. It's their nature. It's what they do.
see large scale environmental injury, you’ll also see the subversion of
democracy. And at every level democracy has been crushed by these large
corporations in West Virginia,” Kennedy continued. “It’s distressing for
everyone in this country.”
“West Virginia is really the template of where our nation is headed, whichLincoln wouldn't have made history if he'd spoken of a government of the businessman, for the businessman and by the businessman. Don't let Wisconsin sell its heritage for a few tons of taconite pellets.
is away from the democracy that our founders believed in and towards kind of a
corporate control of the decision-making at every level of government,” he said.
“And I think that’s one of the questions that this film really poses to the