WOW! Patriot Coal to phase out mountaintop removal

Cindy Rank, longtime mining chairwoman of the Highlands Conservancy, said today, “We’ve been saying for many years that if companies had to pay the real costs of mountaintop removal, it would not be economically feasible. Hopefully, it’s now become clear that when coal companies are required to prevent illegal selenium pollution and pay the costs for cleanup themselves, it simply doesn’t make economic sense to continue this destructive form of mining.

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Patriot Coal has agreed to phase out mountaintop removal and other forms of strip mining in a move Patriot officials say is in the best interests of the company and the communities where it operates.

In a deal with citizen groups, Patriot said it would never seek new permits for large-scale surface mining operations, according to details of the settlement revealed during a federal court hearing here this afternoon.

St. Louis-based Patriot can continue some existing and smaller mining projects, but must also implement a cap on surface production and eventually stop all strip mining when existing coal leases expire.

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Written by Administrator in: Mountaintop Removal |

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