Coal Company to Blow Up Major West Virginia Wind Power Resource

  • Published on September 9th, 2008

In a high profile campaign, West Virginia citizens have asked for a last minute ‘stay of execution’ against the imminent destruction of the site of a proposed wind farm on the state’s Coal River Mountain. Handing in a petition, signed by more than 8,000 residents, campaigners today called on State Governor Minchin to make good on his commitment to support the development of renewable energy in the state, and order a halt to the destruction of an area with enough wind power potential to supply 150,000 homes.

Richmond, Va. based coal company Massey Energy has announced plans to commence blasting at the site tomorrow (10th September), in an operation that will reduce the height of the mountain by 500 feet and free up ten square miles for coal mining activities.

Speaking today, Lorelei Scarbro, community organizer with local pressure group Coal River Mountain Watch said, “Once the demolition begins, it will be very difficult to stop it, and once the mountain is removed, it won’t grow back. The potential for wind energy and good jobs will be gone forever, along with our renewable water and forest resources.”

The threat to the mountain, the last in the area to escape the legacy of decades of coal mining, has resulted in an extraordinary mobilization of community power in support of renewable energy proposals. As well as the proposed wind farm, which residents say would provide 50 permanent jobs, there are plans for sustainable forestry and mountain-based tourism activities.

If the blasting gets the go ahead from the state capitol, it’s likely to send out a negative message to potential investors in green energy in the state, in stark contrast to recent strong support for renewables in states such as Colorado, Pennsylvania and Florida.

Other posts on wind energy:

Image Credit – Jen SFO-BCN via Flickr on a Creative Commons License

About the Author

is a writer and freelance journalist specialising in sustainability and green issues. He lives in Cardiff, Wales.

4 comments

  • I realize that mountain top removal it the cheapest way to remove coal form the ground but there seem to be a way to remove the coal and also build wind turbines and that is traditional underground coal mining. The more coal we can export the better our balance of trade and the better our economy. The more electric power we can produce from Wind the more coal we will be able to sell to other nations and the less oil we will have to import.

  • Windmills are pretty! They don't pollute, they don't make much noise, they may kill avery few unfortunate birds, but mostly they stand there and make power or money, depending hoe you look at it! If the windmills are put up, it is less likely that the mountain will be dug up for any coal under it! put the windmills up, learn to love them, cover every square foot of land possible with them, they protect the land from assholes with shovels!

  • […] Coal Company to Blow Up Major West Virginia Wind Power Resource : Red, Green, and Blue In a high profile campaign, West Virginia citizens have asked for a last minute stay of execution against the imminent destruction of the site of a proposed wind farm on the state’s Coal River Mountain. Handing in a petition, signed by more than 8,000 residents, campaigners today called on State Governor Minchin to make good on his commitment to support the development of renewable energy in the state, and order a halt to the destruction of an area with enough wind power potential to supply 150,000 homes. […]

  • […] Coal Company to Blow Up Major West Virginia Wind Power Resource : Red, Green, and Blue In a high profile campaign, West Virginia citizens have asked for a last minute stay of execution against the imminent destruction of the site of a proposed wind farm on the state’s Coal River Mountain. Handing in a petition, signed by more than 8,000 residents, campaigners today called on State Governor Minchin to make good on his commitment to support the development of renewable energy in the state, and order a halt to the destruction of an area with enough wind power potential to supply 150,000 homes. […]

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