Mountaintop removal at Oven Fork, near Whitesburg (Letcher County, KY). Source: The Mountaintop Removal Roadshow.
Unified Patriots by Vassar Bushmills
When I was in law school I worked for the Kentucky Bureau of Reclamation, whose original mission was to reclaim all the land in the state that had been devastated by unregulated strip mining. There were parts of the state that looked like the mountains of the moon, stripped and barren, littered with red acid water catch basins.
The Environmental Protection Act was passed in 1970, when the catch-phrase by environmental groups, “Sue the bastards” began echoing throughout the halls of state and federal government. The law school class succeeding mine doubled-in-size, nearly half of them engineers, not liberal arts grads. When I left in 1971 we had a staff of about 15 at our HQ at the state capital, plus regional field offices. When returned to visit in 1976, in a…
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