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This is from Representative Pricey Harrison today:
Mountain Top Removal
"House Bill 340*, the bill I introduced to prohibit the use of mountain top removed coal in North Carolina power plants, was heard in the House Environment committee this week. NC is the second largest US consumer of mountain top removed coal, a barbaric practice that has lead to the destruction of more than 500 of the oldest mountains on the planet, burned and poisoned more than 1200 miles of streams, contaminated drinking water wells and caused other health problems for neighbors of the mines, and laid waste to dozens of Appalachian communities. The room was packed with coal and utility lobbyists. It was clear that they had effectively convinced members of the committee that increases in energy costs for consumers would ensue from a conversion from such coal, although the allegations were unsubstantiated. In fact, it may have an impact of about fifty cents ($.50) on a monthly homeowners’ power bill. We did not take a vote on the bill this week. Appalachian Voices, who has been working on this issue at the national and regional level and helping me with bill, and I are contemplating how to proceed."