11. One big step closer to ending mountaintop removal/Grist.org
Here is how my Sierra Club colleague Jim Sconyers, chair of our West Virginia chapter, described these events:
Itís heartening any day we learn that a major player decides that mountaintop-removal is not in the best interest ó of the company or of our mountains, streams, and communities. We look forward to the day when full implementation of this agreement is achieved.
This is a truly historic milestone for Appalachia. Patriot was formed when Peabody decided to spin off their Appalachian mining operations into a separate, stand-alone company, a move that many industry analysts and observers saw as an early indicator of the decline of Appalachian coal.
That decline is now upon us, as the Eastern coalfields feel the squeeze of diminishing coal reserves, rising mining costs, cheap wind and natural gas, outdated coal plants, and growing grassroots opposition to coal pollution. As those pressures continued to mount, Patriot realized that mountaintop removal no longer made business sense ó not to mention the significant harm the pollution was inflicting on communities, which the company acknowledged in its statement.
As a result of those pressures, Patriot filed for bankruptcy in July. ...