H.R.5022 — 118th Congress
To place a moratorium on the issuance and renewal of certain Federal authorizations for mountaintop removal coal mining until a health study is conducted, and for other purposes.
Introduced in House
"What is the ethical obligation of the scientist who believes populations are in danger?" That was the question that professor Michael Hendryx asked himself when he began to uncover the detrimental health effects of mountain top removal in Appalachia.
Mountaintop removal mining—the practice of blowing off the tops of mountains in order to access coal with lower sulfur content—holds fewer health risks for miners, but the health implications for people living in close proximity to MTR locations have long been unknown and even disputed.
Michael and his team found evidence that the populations living near mountaintop removal sites saw significantly higher rates of birth defects, serious disease, and mortality. However, Michael's research met strong opposition from the coal industry and from local coal country governments, who didn't want his findings to be shared.
Mountaintop removal coal makes no sense. We cannot burn all the fossil fuels without guaranteeing climate disasters for young people. The first fossil fuel to be eliminated should be mountaintop removal coal, because of all its other bad effects, especially those on human health.