Having permanently removed a staggering 500 mountains in West Virginia to supply a temporary fix of “cheap” coal, Big Coal is now down to the very last one in the region. Virginia-based Massey Energy, the fourth largest coal company in the US, has begun to level 6,000 acres of Coal River Mountain, the last mountain standing.
Desperate local residents of Coal River Valley banded together and formed the Coal River Mountain Wind Project. They financed an independent study to compare the economics of a wind project instead. What they found is truly staggering.
Their study found that one typical sized 392 MW wind farm on Coal River Mountain would provide provide 80-90 permanent jobs for the community and pay the county a staggering $1.7 million in revenue every year. The site is rated as a prime wind power resource – at least if the mountain remains.
By contrast, continued mountaintop removal would provide the county with only $36,000 in annual revenue—and only for 17 years, till it runs out… Read more…