Mountaintop mining critics descend on Washington

Critics of mountaintop mining are in Washington this week to lobby for bills that would restrict the practice by prohibiting the "fill" that's blown off to provide access to coal seams from being dumped in streams and other waters.

A spokeswoman for the Alliance for Appalachia said 250 supporters of a mountaintop mining ban were expected to door-knock as part of the 5th Annual End Mountaintop Removal Week in Washington. The group is holding a reception on Tuesday night from 6 – 8 p.m. in 406 Dirksen.

Mining companies defend the practice as important to the local economy, but critics argue mountaintop removal degrades the environment.
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson told an audience at the National Press Club on Monday that her agency wasn’t looking to halt mountaintop mining, only minimize or stop pollution to water sources.  EPA will issue new guidance to mining companies on mountaintop mining soon, Jackson said.