Coal mining companies in Appalachia want to use your tax dollars to help finance new mountaintop removal mines. They've worked out a sneaky plan -- use $2.4 billion of Department of Transportation (DOT) and Federal Highway funds to build the Coalfields Expressway through rural Southwest Virginia. Coal companies will use mountaintop removal mining to flatten the area and make way for the road while they keep the profits from the coal they extract.
Construction of the Coalfields Expressway won't serve the public -- the route was drafted by Alpha Natural Resources to maximize access to coal reserves instead of public utility. It bypasses local communities and threatens to remove the through traffic local businesses depend on. The Expressway will bury at least 12 miles of streams and condemn hundreds of acres of land, poisoning streams. All the while, under the cover of the Virginia DOT, Alpha will be able to avoid basic mining regulations.
Appalachians have suffered enough at the hands of Big Coal. The Coalfields Expressway will only bring more polluted water and destruction.
The Virginia DOT is taking comments right now on the expressway. Tell them to look at the environmental and community impacts of the Coalfields Expressway before jumping to approve the project.
I'm requesting that a new or supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) be completed to fully and accurately assess the potential impacts of this project -- including the connected coal mining operations, the project's impacts on forest and wildlife habitat, and the impacts to area streams and wetlands.