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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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The Chase

The Chase

(p.90) 5. The Chase
Combating Mountaintop Removal

Bryan T. McNeil

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines the bureaucratic maze of state regulations that community activists face. It quickly becomes clear that procedures within the state Department of Environmental Protection funnel citizen input away from critical decision making. Activists are told that only in the state legislature can they argue that mountaintop removal should not be allowed. That same legislature is awash in political campaign contributions from coal companies, and in fact populated with many members who are themselves tied to the industry. From the shady dealings of land companies in the nineteenth century to the shady dealings of Governor Moore, West Virginians are accustomed to Coal's institutional dominance over their politics and economics. Ultimately, layers of bureaucracy make it difficult to hold politicians or the industry accountable.

Keywords:   community activists, state regulations, bureaucracy, Department of Environmental Protection, mountaintop removal, coal companies, Governor Moore, West Virginia

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