Skip to content

CNN Leaves Out Critical Voice in Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining Story

August 15, 2011

Last night, CNN aired “Battle for Blair Mountain: Working in America,” a documentary piece on coal mining hosted by Soledad O’Brien. While the piece makes an effort to represent both sides of the issue, it leaves out a critical voice: Appalachian families whose health and livelihoods have been in steady decline because of mountaintop removal coal minining.

It left out the voices of people such as as Maria Gunnoe (2009). She recently joined a coalition of environmental and public health advocates at a congressional hearing to release findings from studies about birth defects and cancer rates in Appalachia. It could have included the story of Judy Bonds, a tireless advocate whose battle against mountaintop removal was tragically cut short by cancer.

Instead, it chose the far simpler route of pitting jobs against environment, propagating the myth that one can only be attained at the cost of another. Appalachian families deserve better. They deserve jobs that pay well, protect their health, and maintain the mountain’s natural beauty.

Related Posts

Stopping the Spill: How Oil Is Changing Our Earth


August 22, 2022 – By Jacqueline Kehoe

News headlines every few years can leave the impression that oil spills are rare, one-off events, like BP’s Deepwater Horizon spill in 2010 or the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster. In reality, they happen constantly: Over 700 million gallons of waste oil reach the ocean every year, destroying entire ecosystems and communities. Beyond its role in…

Read more

Indigenous Communities: Protectors of our Forests


August 8, 2022 – By Jacqueline Kehoe

It has now become widely understood in environmental circles that Indigenous groups around the world are often the best stewards of land conservation because of their longstanding cultural, spiritual, and physical connections to their territories. August 9, is UN International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, a day that recognizes the unique role of Indigenous…

Read more

In Your Backyard: Urban Oil Extraction


June 13, 2022 – By Jacqueline Kehoe

For many Americans, oil drilling doesn’t feel like a hometown issue—it’s the concern of far-off places, from 2010’s BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico to Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. “Urban oil extraction” can even sound like a myth. In reality, it’s happening in our own backyards. Once the first US oil well…

Read more