Surface Coal Mining Impacts

coal1The practice of surface mining coal in the state of Kentucky is devastating to our health, environment, and ultimately our quality of life. Surface coal mining sucks money out of our state while destroying our mountains and polluting our water.  The Center for Public Integrity just came out with a recent article, found here, that highlights the clear irregularities between surface coal mining areas (including mountaintop removal mining areas), and other non-coal mining areas, and the excess pollution that results from those mining processes.  The source of the article’s information includes a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey, a non-regulatory agency of the government that focuses on information gathering.


In 2006 the coal industry actually cost the state of Kentucky $115 million after calculating the costs against the benefits. Between 1979 and 2006, the state lost half of our coal jobs, and coal employment is now just 1% of the state’s employment total. Even as the state subsidizes the coal mining industry, the number of coal jobs has gone down. Even as we lose coal jobs, we also lose ground against western coal mines that can get the same amount of coal at a lower cost. On top of losing jobs and the competitive advantage, the demand for coal is dropping as the call for clean and renewable energy rises, and it continues to make less and less sense to destroy our natural areas for this dirty energy source.


As a part of our Keep Clean Water Clean campaign, we work to enforce the Clean Water Act and hold coal companies accountable to provide fair and verifiable social and economic analysis whenever they propose to pollute or fill a stream.

In the future, we will fight to hold big coal, the state, and EPA accountable to protect our families and communities from the harmful practice of coal mining. And we need your help to continue this important work like never before. Join us in this fight by #becoming a member or #signing up to receive updates on how you can act against coal mining pollution in Kentucky.


This video shows a glimpse of what we are working  to protect.

A Deeper Creek – The Watchable Waters of Appalachia from Freshwaters Illustrated on Vimeo.