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But I was on the money in criticizing the permit the EPA just granted to Patriot Coal. Both the Post-Dispatch and the Kansas City Star had an article this morning that began:

Scientific evidence that mountaintop-removal coal mining destroys streams and threatens human health is so strong the government should stop granting new permits for it, a group of 12 environmental scientists report in Friday’s issue of the journal Science.

It’s good to have Bobby Kennedy’s observation about the results of coal mining verified in the journal Science, though you didn’t have to be a scientist to know he had it right. As WillyK pointed out in the comments section of my posting on Wednesday, the reason for this scientific sellout is political. And the question for the Obama administration is–in a year where Democratic losses at the polls are being widely predicted–how are they going to get their tit out of this wringer. They’d like to do the right thing, but they’d hate to lose seats in West Virginia.

Job retraining programs for unemployed miners anyone? That’d be fine if there were any jobs to be had there. Cause you know how it goes. If ten percent of the population in that state depends on mining jobs, another huge chunk of the population depends on selling goods and services to those miners and their families. And it doesn’t seem like the kind of geographic area where you can put miners to work building windmills.