In addition to the Supremes, Greens won on another court front last week as they press their bid to shut down carbon-related industries. In West Virginia, reports AP, enviro groups “hailed a federal court victory as the possible death knell of mountaintop removal coal mining in Appalachia.”
The mining industry vowed to appeal a judge’s ruling that demands costly, endless environmental reviews for site permitting. The ruling puts 30 pending projects on hold and raised fears of broader job losses. A similar ruling (ultimately overturned) by a Clinton appointee in the late 1990s turned the traditionally Democratic state against Clinton/Gore enviro policies and was a key factor in Bush’s 2000 upset win there.
The war on mountaintop mining puts a lie to Gore’s oft-stated claim that Green is good for jobs – and has opened a rift between the Democratic bases of enviro and union activists.
West Virginia surface mines employ an estimated 5,000 to 6,000 people.
“We’ve seen what a dramatic effect this has on people’s jobs and lives when they have these kinds of decisions,” said the president of the West Virginia Coal Association. “What does it do to our people who are out there working?”