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August 16, 2011

New Poll Shows Strong Opposition to Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining

Mountaintop removal coal mining site in southwest Virginia Today the Sierra Club, Appalachian Mountain Advocates, and EarthJustice released a poll showing that a majority of voters in West Virginia, Kentucky, Virginia, and Tennessee oppose mountaintop removal coal mining - a devastating form of mining that poisons waterways and destroys entire eco-systems and communities in Appalachia.

According to the poll, the number of voters who oppose mountaintop removal dwarfs the number who support it:

  • 57% oppose mountaintop removal, and with noticeable intensity (42% strongly oppose), compared to just 20% who support it.
  • Voters who strongly support mountaintop removal mining in these states are a very small minority (at 10%).

The poll also shows that the unpopularity of mountaintop removal mining is far-reaching and bipartisan. Opposition to the practice crosses typical political boundaries, including 64% of Democrats, 60% of independents, and 51% of Republicans.

What's more, 76% of voters support fully enforcing and even increasing Clean Water Act protections to combat the negative impacts of mountaintop removal mining

Finally, the poll shows that Appalachian voters reject the notion that environmental protections are bad for the economy: 60% say they are either good for the economy (40%) or they have no impact (20%).

You can read the entire polling document here (PDF) and the polling memo here.

Photo courtesy of ILoveMountains.org and SouthWings.

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