Saturday, April 18, 2009

Sixty Percent of NC's Electricity Is Generated Using Coal

In parts of eastern Tennessee, southwestern Virginia, West Virginia and Kentucky strip mining of coal via mountaintop removal blows off the tops of mountains with massive ammonium nitrate and fuel-oil blasts. In the past thirty years, an estimated 500 mountains have been destroyed by this mining technique; more than 1,200 miles of streams have been filled with mining waste and fill.

With nearly 60 percent of its electricity generated by coal-fired plants, North Carolina consumes over 15 million tons of coal stripped from mountaintop removal operations in central Appalachia. It ranks as the second-largest consumer of mountaintop removal-mined coal in the nation.

In 2007, state Rep. Pricey Harrison of Greensboro took a historic step in introducing the Appalachian Mountains Preservation Act, which would prohibit the importation of mountaintop-removal coal into North Carolina. This was the first bill of its kind in the nation. (The News Observer, 4/18/09)

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