Note: I have invited a few notable green bloggers and pundits to contribute to my column this week. The first is Scott Badenoch, founder of EcoMatters Daily who wrote this piece re. Obama's position on MTR (mountaintop removal).

The environmental movement has been in a near dream state since November 4th.  Much like a kid before Christmas, dreams of magically replacing all past, current and future environmental ills with shiny new renewable energies, sweat organic treats and pristine lands have abounded.  While the Administration’s storybook is still in its early chapters with much hope remaining, many believe that our stockings may be filled with coal, literally and figuratively. 

Of the many egregious activities by anti-nature corporations and politicians in the United States, Mountaintop Removal Mining is quite possibly the most ruthless, and certainly the least intelligent.   Rainforest Action Network sums it up: “Rather than remove the coal from the mountain, MTR removes the mountain from the coal.”

Jeff Biggers, writer for Grist and Huffington Post and one of the strongest voices of clarity around MTR, describes the decision that has rocked the movement:

In an extraordinary move to disregard a 38-year rap sheet of crimes of pollution, harassment, and forced removal of some of our nation’s oldest and most historic communities, and the destruction of over 500 mountains and 1.2 million acres of deciduous hardwood forests in our nation’s carbon sink of Appalachia, the Obama administration [announced] that it plans to “regulate” mountaintop-removal mining operations—rather than abolishing them completely.

Stopping MTR has been a big dream for environmentalists due to President Obama’s own words.  According to, then Senator Obama...

...said the country also needs a forward-thinking energy policy, and he alluded to his disapproval of the coal mining process of mountaintop removal.  "We're tearing up the Appalachian Mountains because of our dependence on fossil fuels," he said, sparking loud applause.
When Appalachian Voices asked Obama in August 2008 what he thought of strip mining, he answered, "Strip-mining is an environmental disaster!" and went on to say, "We have to find more environmentally sound ways of mining coal, than simply blowing the tops off mountains."

Yet now, Obama sends out the EPA’s Lisa Jackson and Interior Secretary, Ken Salazar, to publicly make what is really his own about-face.  They don’t announce that MTR will be banned as a practice, but rather that mountains are acceptable to destroy if regulations exist to ensure a “livable environment” for the surrounding neighborhoods.  Jackson and Salazar both directly stated that the practice would not only continue in the current locations, but would be allowed to move to other sites.  

Mountains are forever; they are not renewable. They are priceless and infinitely important to our planet.  Instead, 3.5 millions pounds of explosives are destroying them every single day, day in and day out, more explosives than the US Military detonated over Hiroshima each week.

Who knew that a leveling of such proportions wouldn’t happen at the hands of an enemy military but by our own private companies?  To call this a catastrophe, disaster or crime resembles a compliment more than a damnation considering the profound loss that results from Mountaintop Removal.

Mr. President, it is your duty as a citizen of this planet to put an immediate and irrevocable moratorium on Mountaintop Removal today.  Go to Appalachia and see for yourself.   There is no time to waste; there is no compromise.  Human lives and nature’s mountains are at stake.

You have the power to stop it.  So, what’s stopping you?   

Here's an article on how you can get involved and help the cause.

Written by Scott Badenoch, CEO & Co-Founder of; Dedicated to realigning our society with nature through business methods and citizen activism.  Find his other babies at and on the new 3rdWhale iPhone app.

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Photo (Mountaintop removal): V. Stockman/ & SouthWings

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