You're currently reading an archived version of Jim Hightower's work.
The latest (and greatest?) observations from Jim Hightower are only now available at our Substack website. Join us there!
Industrial polluters are very skilled at perverting our language when they want to eliminate regulations that protect us and our environment from their rampant destruction. Rather than saying honestly that they’re out to kill anti-pollution regulations – they speak soothingly of “easing,” “modifying,” and “relaxing” the rules. This sounds like a mattress ad.
They’re at it again. Pushed by Appalachia’s coal barons, George W’s office of surface mining is trying to rush through a rule change that would be one of the most destructive imaginable. It involves a horrendous, ruinous mining method called mountaintop removal. “Removal” is another Orwellian euphemism, disguising the industry’s brutal practice of simply blowing up the tops of ancient Appalachian mountains, then callously shoving the massive piles of rubble down the mountainside, burying everything below.
Enjoying Hightower's work? Join us over at our new home on Substack:
The one deterrent – often ignored by coal corporations – is a rule prohibiting this rubble from being dumped within 100 feet of valley streams. Rather than enforce this clear regulation, however, Bush & Company have recently proposed to “clarify” the meaning of “Don’t Do That.” The new language says the coal giants can dump their waste right into streams, so long as they try to minimize the damage “to the extent possible.”
In other words: Free for all – blast away! This is a grotesque departing gift from the Bushites to corporations that have been loyal campaign funders. It would encourage more mindless decimation of our mountains and the burying of hundreds of miles of streams beneath tons of coal waste.
Still, there is hope for sanity. The EPA must okay the rule change, there are moves in Congress to stop it, and both Barack Obama and John McCain say they oppose it. To join this fight, connect with this grassroots group: www.ilovemountains.org.
“More Sadness for Appalachia,” The New York Times, October 21, 2008.
“Mines to Get Freer Hand to Dump Waste,” www.washingtonpost.com, October 18, 2008.
“Federal Officials Seek to Relax Rules for Dumping Mine Waste,” www.nytimes.com, October 19, 2008.
“Stream Buffer Zone Action Alert,” www.itsgettinghotinhere.org, October 7, 2008.
“A Sick Parting Gift: Bush Administration Gutting Protections Against Mountain Top Removal,” www.itsgettinghotinhere.org, October 21, 2008.
“In the name of profits for King Coal Our oldest mountains are being blown away,” Hightower Lowdown, November 2005.