Conflicit Between Energy and Ecology
Focus on Coal in Wake of Arab Oil Embargo
Strip mining is at the heart of one of America's most nagging and difficult domestic dilemmas: how to balance urgent energy needs with vital environmental protection. Stripping, as this controversial method of surface mining is often called, has inflicted severe damage on the land in Appalachia and the Midwest, and is now moving into the Northern Great Plains and the Southwest. The nation is hungry for power, and coal—America's most abundant energy resource—can be extracted quickly, easily and cheaply by strip mining. As the Arab oil embargo puts a squeeze on U.S. supplies of heating fuel and gasoline, “King Coal” is being called upon to ease the imminent energy shortages. Coal is ...