February 24, 2011

Mountain Top Removal & KFTC

This past weekend was the Dimensions of Political Ecology conference at the University of Kentucky. One part of the conference was a field trip in conjunction with Kentuckians for the Commonwealth (KFTC) to see some of the effects of Mountain Top Removal (MTR) out in Eastern Kentucky. The photographs above are just a few of the images I took on that drizzly day. The national demand for "cheap" power (coal) results in these radically "transformed" landscapes--the worst part of all of this is how clear it is who is really paying the price for all of this: the small communities who live in the heart of coal country. Trucks rumble through communities throughout Eastern Kentucky (and elsewhere), hauling the raw materials that power so many daily lives. But how many of us actually think about--or can even imagine--the effects of this type of energy extraction? How "clean" is coal when we take the experiences of local communities into account? It's no accident that these sites remain out of public view.

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