By Lisa Friedman And Brad Plumer
21 August 2017

WASHINGTON (The New York Times) – The Interior Department has ordered a halt to a scientific study begun under President Obama of the public health risks of mountaintop-removal coal mining.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, which was conducting the study, said in a statement Monday that they were ordered to stop work because the Interior Department is conducting an agencywide budgetary review.

Last year, West Virginia officials asked the Obama administration to look into the health effects of mountaintop mining, a technique used to extract underlying coal.

The National Academies assembled a 12-member expert committee to assess “new approaches to safeguard the health of residents” living near the mines.

“Mountaintop removal mining has been shown to cause lung cancer, heart disease, and other medical problems,” said Representative Raúl M. Grijalva of Arizona, the ranking Democrat on the House Committee on Natural Resources. “Stopping this study is a ploy to stop science in its tracks and keep the public in the dark about health risks as a favor to the mining industry, pure and simple.” [more]

Coal Mining Health Study Is Halted by Interior Department


WASHINGTON, 21 August 2017 (NAS) – In an August 18 letter, the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement informed the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine that it should cease all work on a study of the potential health risks for people living near surface coal mine sites in Central Appalachia. The letter states that the Department has begun an agency-wide review of its grants and cooperative agreements in excess of $100,000, largely as a result of the Department’s changing budget situation.

The National Academies will go forward with previously scheduled meetings for this project in Kentucky on August 21-23 -- which are allowed to proceed according to the letter -- and encourages the public to attend open meetings in Hazard and Lexington on August 21 and 22. The National Academies believes this is an important study and we stand ready to resume it as soon as the Department of the Interior review is completed.  We are grateful to our committee members for their dedication to carrying forward with this study.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine are private, nonprofit institutions that provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions related to science, technology, and medicine. They operate under an 1863 congressional charter to the National Academy of Sciences, signed by President Lincoln.


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Statement Regarding National Academies Study on Potential Health Risks of Living in Proximity to Surface Coal Mining Sites in Central Appalachia


  1. Anonymous said...

    Thanks Des for keeping us all informed. It's going to be a long, long four years under this incompetent president. The damage this idiot is doing is incalculable. ~Survival Acres~  

  2. Samsara said...

    So who wants to step up and have the lights go out for good?

    No Coal, NO electricity. Mile long coal train = Power Plant(ie lights on in Your house) for 24 hours.

    Wind/Solar/Hydro? 2%-5% of total electricity.
    Gas? We IMPORT over HALF of Canada's Yearly production.



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