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Combating Mountaintop RemovalNew Directions in the Fight against Big Coal$
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Bryan T. McNeil

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780252036439

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252036439.001.0001

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Welcome to Coal River

Welcome to Coal River

(p.25) 1. Welcome to Coal River
Combating Mountaintop Removal

Bryan T. McNeil

University of Illinois Press

This chapter describes the rise of mountaintop removal coal mining (MTR) and the uproar that accompanied it both in West Virginia and in Coal River. The conditions that facilitated MTR in the late 1990s included trends in industry stimulated by neoliberal corporate restructuring, labor relations, politics, government, and regulation. Manifestations of these conditions on multiple scales from federal regulations to local businesses have shaped the battle lines in Coal River. Out of these conditions, the chapter chronicles the emergence of a fresh round of activism against strip mining and the emergence of Coal River Mountain Watch (CRMW) within that activism. It also traces the history of Whitesville and Sylvester, two towns that sit side by side in the heart of Coal River.

Keywords:   mountaintop removal, coal mining, Coal River, West Virginia, neoliberalism, corporate structuring, labor relations, CRMW, Whitesville, Sylvester

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