Majority Oppose Mountaintop Removal Mining; Find Protecting Environment Good for Economy

posted by Rainforest Action Network

The first nationwide poll to test voters’ opinions on mountain top removal mining is clear; voters in every region of the country are against mountaintop removal mining (MTR).

Upon hearing that “more than 1,200 miles of streams in Appalachia already have been buried or destroyed by mountaintop removal coal mining,” fully 85% of voters say they are concerned about the effects of MTR.

In addition, the poll clearly shows that two-thirds of American voters oppose the Bush administration’s recent efforts to repeal the Stream Buffer Zone Rule. The Stream Buffer Zone rule prohibits coal mining within 100 feet of permanent and seasonal streams. The repeal of the buffer zone would allow the proliferation of MTR by legalizing the process of mining near streams, and would subsequently result in burying our nation’s streams under mining waste.

Debunking the age-old division between protecting the environment and securing jobs, the poll showed that voters believe environmental protections are good for the economy by more than a 2:1 margin. A plurality (47%) believe environmental protections are good for the economy and another 23% believe such protections have no impact on the economy.

Memo detaining the survey findings (PDF)

Information on poll methodology (PDF)