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Appalachia Rising descends on White House

More than 100 people were arrested yesterday during a protest at the White House over mountaintop removal. The organizing group, Appalachia Rising, wants President Obama to “immediately abolish the practice of blowing up mountains and dumping the debris into nearby streams and valleys to reach seams of coal.”

One of those arrested was NASA scientist Dr. James Hansen (pictured above), who told reporters:

The science is clear, mountaintop removal destroys historic mountain ranges, poisons water supplies and pollutes the air with coal and rock dust. Mountaintop removal, providing only a small fraction of our energy, can and should be abolished. The time for half measures and caving in to polluting industries must end.

Obama and his EPA will be tested on this issue in the coming weeks, when they decide on a project in West Virginia that would become one of the largest strip-mining operations in Appalachia.