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May 15, 2008

Kentucky taxpayer dollars used to promote coal

The Lexington Herald Leader has a story posted today about the amount of tax money the coal industry gets in Kentucky each year to promote itself: $400,000.

The shocking quote from the story:

"The environmentalists throw out a lot of negative stuff, like kids who are suffering from asthma because they breathe particulate matter from living near a coal-fired power plant, or deaths caused on the roads by big coal trucks," (Kentucky Coal Association President Bill Caylor) said. "We're trying to counteract that."

Wow, Mr. Caylor....Wow.

The story goes on to say that some of the $400,000 is used for a website that helps promote mountaintop removal coal mining - one of the most destructive mining practices out there. From the story:

Mountaintop removal is actually good for the environment and does very little damage, according to the site. "Only the topmost portion of the mountain is mined and generally leveled for the maximum recovery of coal," according to the site, which claims a daily average of 2,775 page views. "What's left is flatter, more useful land on the top of the mountain."

A more useful mountain, that's nice. Let's ignore the devastating impacts on the environment and the nearby communities from this type of mining. Watch how useful mountaintop removal coal mining is in this YouTube video from I Love Mountains and Appalachian Voices.

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