Coal River Mountain

Until November 4, 2009, Coal River Mountain in Coal River, WV was the last intact mountain in the Coal River Valley mountain range. Over the past two years, it has become a flashpoint in the struggle to phase out dirty fossil fuel energy and create a clean energy future.

In November, Massey Energy Company, one of the largest coal producers in the country, began blasting at Coal River Mountain. The mountain is adjacent to the Brushy Fork coal slurry impoundment, the largest slurry dam in Appalachia. Slurry is the by-product of coal washing and processing and contains high levels of toxic heavy metals. The Brushy Fork impoundment has the capacity to hold 8.2 billion gallons. It is estimated that 1,000 lives are at risk if the dam at Brushy Fork were to fail.

Coal River Mountain has the highest peaks ever slated for mining in the state of West Virginia. According to a 2007 study conducted by Coal River Wind Project, the mountain is an ideal location for a commercial-scale clean energy project that would protect the environment while creating jobs. If left intact, the ridges on Coal River Mountain have Class 7 wind potential – the best there is. The wind potential study and the following economic study found that it is possible to place 328 MW of wind energy on Coal River Mountain. That’s enough to power 70,000 West Virginia Homes, provide permanent jobs and $1.7 million in taxes to the county every year. But a leveled mountain means the loss of elevation that would power those wind turbines.

Check out the video of local residents fighting MTR in their backyard:

Further Information can be found at: – Save Coal River Mountain – Coal River Mountain Watch – Climate Ground Zero – documentary on MTR in Coal River Valley range


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