Apparently, clean tap water and formerly scenic vistas aren’t priorities for red state, coal-country voters who would rather add cancer clusters and horrendous birth defects to the list of woes that go along with their disappearing coal jobs.
What good are a few hundred more jobs if the workers filling those jobs, as well as their families, are dropping dead from poisoned drinking water and contaminated air?
A 2011 study in the Environmental Research journal discovered an increased risk for “six out of seven types of birth defects — circulatory/respiratory, central nervous system, musculoskeletal, gastrointestinal [and] urogenital” defects near mountaintop removal mines. The rate was nearly twice as high as that found in areas without mountaintop removal mines.
It’s not clear whether Trump voters in deeply red states like West Virginia and Kentucky are aware of the fact that coal mining and Trump’s terrible bill which allows mining companies to dump toxic waste into rivers, lakes and streams, and will surely add copious amounts of selenium, mercury and arsenic to the water supplies in those states — in addition to the variety of toxins present in coal slurry, ash and other waste materials.
They should be aware, simply based on past experience. Surely they couldn’t have forgotten the 2014 disaster at Dry Branch, where 300,000 West Virginians were forced to go without clean tap water when chemicals used in coal extraction were dumped into the water supply. Sadly, this is just the beginning.
Let’s be clear. Trump voters love their guy partly because he pisses off liberals. But allowing coal mining outfits to dump waste into coal country streams will only damage coal country and the people who live there.