It’s a sad thing that when Jay Rockefeller first entered West Virginia politics in 1972 he opposed surface mining. But after losing that election he aligned with King Coal and has become a permanent feature in WV politics. Since that maneuver, he has been one of King Coal’s chief lobbyists making sure that the industry has a carte blanche to ravage and ruin Appalachia’s mountains.
With the election of Obama, Rockefeller has pitted himself against EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, who has slowly begun to curb mountaintop removal (although not fast enough for me).
Today, the EPA announced it’s veto of Arch Coal’s existing Spruce Pine mine permit in West Virginia. Rockefeller’s response was “I have said this before, and will say it again: it is wrong and unfair for the EPA to change the rules for a permit that is already active,”
If anything we’ll see the coal industry and their lobbyists doubling as politicians increase their efforts attacking these decisions. We must remain strong in advocating for an end to MTR. Up the ante on the mining companies, banks and politicians that love them seems a likely way, but also holding the EPA accountable as they zig and zag through this issue.