Thank Coal Company for Ending Harmful Mining Practice

Target: Ben Hatfield, President and CEO of Patriot Coal

Goal: Thank Patriot Coal for committing to end mountaintop removal mining.

Mountaintop removal mining has been a controversial process for many years, and environmental advocacy groups like the Sierra Club had long denounced it for the harmful side effects its generates. Patriot Coal, a major mining company, recently committed to scaling back and eventually halting all mountaintop removal mining. Sign the petition and thank Patriot Coal President and CEO Ben Hatfield for putting an end to an incredibly dangerous and destructive process.

According to Bloomberg Business, mountaintop removal is a process “in which the peaks [of mountains] are stripped of vegetation and soil to allow so-called surface mining.” Aside from the obvious negative results–the destruction of natural habitats and a dramatic reshaping of the mountain itself–the mountaintop removal process directly affects humans as well, as air and water pollution are major by-products of the mining process. Mountaintop removal mining has also been linked to a number of health issues, including greater chances of heart disease and birth defects.

At the urging of advocacy groups like the Sierra Club, Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, and West Virginia Highlands Conservancy, Patriot Coal recently signed an agreement to begin cutting back its mountaintop removal practices. It immediately halted mountaintop removal at its Catenary location in West Virginia, and by 2015 will have stopped mountaintop removal at its Hobet location as well. The company has also agreed not to “open any new surface mines or apply for more ‘large-scale’ surface- mining permits.” It will also give up permits to dispose of mountaintop waste in the valleys below.

The Sierra Club calls Patriot Coal’s concessions a “huge victory,” and they are. Acknowledge Patriot Coal’s actions–sign the petition thanking President and CEO Ben Hatfield for putting a stop to mountaintop removal mining.

PETITION LETTER

Dear Mr. Hatfield,

Mountaintop removal mining has been a contentious issue for many years, which makes Patriot Coal’s decision to scale back and eventually end its mountaintop removal practices a very exciting one. Thank you for prioritizing health and environmental issues over the financial bottom line.

Mountaintop removal mining is highly destructive not only to natural environments but also to people who live near mining locations. Many people in Appalachia are at a heightened risk of heart disease and birth defects because of the pollution mountaintop removal mining produces. Ending what environmental advocacy groups like the Sierra Club have deemed a “destructive process” and “an abhorrent form of mining” is a huge step forward in working toward a healthier environment and healthier citizens.

The decision to eschew mountaintop removal mining may not have been an easy one, but it is the right one. Thank you for sending a message that people and the environment matter more than making a quick buck.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: JSmith Photo via Flickr

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