Mountaintop Removal and Poverty in West Virginia
Mountaintop removal (MTR) is a method of strip mining coal where the tops of mountains are blasted off with explosives to expose buried coal. (Defenders of Appalachia, p. 2). MTR is the most efficient, profitable way to get coal. (Defenders of Appalachia, p. 3). Coal companies allege that MTR is a positive economic force, providing jobs, infrastructure, and other benefits to the regions where it is occurring. . . . In order to show the effects of MTR in West Virginia, I compared the poverty rates of WV counties fully or mostly within the MTR region with the remainder of WV’S Counties. By 2009, 11 counties in southern West Virginia could be considered mostly or entirely hosts to MTR activity, and the remaining 45 were not. (Appalachian Voices). These 11 counties are: Boone, Clay, Fayette, Kanawha, Logan, McDowell, Mingo, Nicholas, Raleigh, Webster, and Wyoming.
Daniel B. Winegard is a member of the Class of 2014 of Washington and Lee University School of Law.Capstone; [FULL-TEXT FREELY AVAILABLE ONLINE]