Gee Pop, Stripmining Is Cool!
Not even two months old, and already Sierra Daily is developing an odd specialization as purveyor of kitschy, ironic pro-fossil fuel propaganda. Our latest offering comes courtesy of the "public service" Web site, Comics With Problems. No date, but it seems to be from the early 1960s. It was put out by the Mined Land Conservation Conference, a voluntary industry group that predated the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act, which just celebrated its 33rd birthday. According to Aimee Erickson, executive director of the Citizens Coal Council, reclamation of strip mines is still way too voluntary:
The White House and Secretary Salazar refused to even think about improving environmental enforcement at the Minerals Management Service until an oil company's terrible performance killed people and damaged our wetlands, Gulf Coast fisheries and beaches.
Irresponsible coal mining companies have already killed people, poisoned rivers, destroyed families' homes, left communities without drinking water, and caused devastating floods. But the White House and Secretary Salazar have created a regulatory environment that lets the most irresponsible companies violate federal and state laws with impunity.
But don't try telling Sue and Billy that, cuz they think that reclaimed land is a lot better than it ever was before!