canary in a coal mine
Coal is a
combustible black or brownish-black sedimentary rock usually occurring in rock
strata in layers or veins called coal beds or coal seams.
forms, such as anthracite coal, can be regarded as metamorphic rock because of
later exposure to elevated temperature and pressure.
Coal is composed
primarily of carbon, along with variable quantities of other elements, chiefly
hydrogen, sulfur, oxygen, and nitrogen.
A fossil fuel, coal forms when
dead plant matter is converted into peat, which in turn is converted into
lignite, then sub-bituminous coal, after that bituminous coal, and lastly
This involves biological and geological processes that take
place over time.
1968 November 20 Farmington Mine Disaster happens at the
Consol No. 9 coal mine near Farmington, West Virginia.
Laws previously enacted have largely been abandoned by the
new leaner and meaner mine owners of the 21st century.
1976 15 miners go missing after an explosion rocked the coal
Two days later, there is a second explosion where 11 more men are
Investigators conclude the explosion was caused by a
build-up of methane gas due to inadequate ventilation.
In total, 26
2001 Thirteen coal miners die as
the result of two gas explosions September 23 at the Jim Walter Resources Blue
Creek No. 5 Mine in Brookwood, Alabama.
Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection announces it will take up
to 60 years and $15 billion to clean up 250,000 acres of land and over 2100
miles of streams contaminated by
abandoned coal mines in Pennsylvania.
2006 On January 2 in the Sago Mine in Sago, West
Virginia a blast and ensuing aftermath trapped thirteen miners for nearly two
Only one miner survived.
International Coal Group was the
non-union coal operator of the Sago Mine.
On May 20 five miners at the
non-union Kentucky Darby Mine No. 1 in Harlan County, state of Kentucky, died
after a methane explosion inside a shaft.
On May 24, 2006 a miner
underground at International Coal Group's Sycamore II Mine near Jarvisville,
state of West Virginia, died when he was struck in the head by a heavy wooden
2007 On Jan 13 two members of a coal
mining crew removing pillars in a coal mine near Cucumber died when a portion
of the tunnel collapsed and the men were buried in debris deep underground.
The crew was working on a process called retreat mining, a practice
that involves cutting away support pillars to extract the last coal deposits by
working back toward the entrance while allowing the ceiling to fall
When Robert Murray acquired a 50% ownership in the Crandall Canyon
coal mine in August, 2006, his incorporation repeatedly petitioned the Mine
Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) to allow coal to be extracted from the
north and south barriers - thick walls of coal that ran on both sides of the
main tunnels left by design to hold up the ceilings.
Documents on file
with the Utah Division of Oil Gas and Mining show Andalex, the prior owner, had
previously decided not to mine those barriers, determining it posed a risk to
In February and March, they engaged in retreat mining in
the north barrier.
Work in the north barrier progressed until March,
when the coal mine suffered a collapse - the tunnel roof fell in, the tunnel
floors heaved and coal exploded from the support pillars due to the pressure of
the mountain bearing down.
The collapse damaged tunnels over a span of
more than 700 feet, and prompted coal mine operators to abandon retreat mining
in the northern barrier.
On June 15 the incorporation received approval
from the Mine Safety and Health Administration to begin cutting away the
support pillars of the south barrier.
On August 6 six miners - Kerry
Allred, Don Erickson, Luis Hernandez, Juan Carlos Payan, Brandon Phillips and
Manuel Sanchez - were retreat mining in that south barrier when a 69 acre
On August 16 Dale Ray Black, Brandon Kimber and Gary
Jensen were killed in another collapse while attempting a rescue.
According to 1400 pages of government and congressional records the
Crandall Canyon coal mine was expected to collapse.
Ken Ward Jr. of
The Charleston Gazette (W.Va.) analyzed government reports and data and
found that 9 out of every 10 coal mining deaths nationwide over the last 10
years could have been avoided if existing safety rules had been
Seth Borenstein, Linda J. Johnson and
Lee Mueller of Knight Ridder Newspapers used federal data to find that "since
the Bush administration took office in 2001, it has been more lenient toward
mining companies facing serious safety violations, issuing fewer and smaller
major fines and collecting less than half of the money that violators owed."
"It is a sign of progress that America is beginning to face the
coal-hard truth about burning black "chunks of solid carbon" to meet our
insatiable hunger for electricity.
Feeding a ravenous coal-fired power
plant requires stripping huge swaths of land each and every year.
feed our energy appetites, we flatten mountains, wrench soil-stabilizing trees
from the ground, devour purple mountains majesty and bury streams under toxic
tons of rubble." - Linda Nicholas
"People across the country are
deciding that coal's multiple bad effects are real, cumulative, permanent and
largely ignored in Washington.
Coal is the main reason the US is the
world's largest source of greenhouse gases.
The ready availability and
relatively low cost (to the power generator), and the fact that we have always
done it this way, gave coal a safe place in the market for 125 years and forged
a large body of well-financed special-interest groups." - Robert Siebert
2009 Industry sponsored front group the
Federation for American Coal, Energy and Security debutes in the summer as a
product of the Adfero Group, a public relation corporation working for Koch
Industries and the US Chamber of Commerce.
Coal dust explosion at Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch coal mine kills
twenty-nine out of thirty-one miners at the site.
The CEO of Massey
Energy at the time of the disaster, Don Blankenship, is convicted in 2015 of
conspiring to willfully violate safety standards but was found not guilty of
charges of securities fraud and making false statements.
strip mining morphs into mountaintop
removal1992 to 2002
Strip mining was just the start.
In Appalachia they do not just strip
the Earth for coal seams lying a few feet under the surface they take the
entire tops off mountains and dump them in streams!
A rule change
allowed strip mining waste to be reclassified as 'fill'. Twelve hundred miles
(1200) of stream bed is 'filled'.
"Mountaintop removal is not only
ignorant, as the habitat of wildlife is destroyed in the name of profit and
greed, it is immoral and shortsighted." -
The pillage of Appalachia by the coal industry is being made
possible by officials who view public service as an opportunity for wholesale
2004 Federal judge revokes 11 permits
issued by the Army Corps of Engineers under the Nationwide Permit 21 process
which allowed 'streamlined permitting'.
November the US 4th Circuit Court of Appeals rules that mountaintop removal and
streambed filling complied with the Clean Water Act.
permitting' for mountaintop removal and streambed filling is
"I've been regulating mining since 1966 and this is the
most lawless administration I have encountered.
They have no regard for
protecting miners or the people in mining communities.
They are without
The corruption and lawlessness goes all the way to the top."
- Jack Spadaro, former superintendent of the federal Mine Safety and Health
2007 Federal judges decision
supports environmentalists' claims that the Army Corps of Engineers has
improperly issued permits for mountaintop coal mining in Appalachia.
the flurry of rule changes that take place on George Walker Bush's exit many
environmental regulations are gutted.
The rule on mountaintop removal
and stream filling is changed to circumvent government oversight.
rule gives coal corporations a legal right to do what required special
"The EPA's own scientists have concluded that
dumping mining waste into streams devastates downstream water quality. By
signing off on this rule, the agency has abdicated its responsibility."
- Edward C. Hopkins
"This is unmistakably a fire sale of epic size for
coal and the entire fossil fuel industry, with flagrant disregard for human
health, the environment and the rule of law." - Vickie Patton
2009 February 13 the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth
Circuit, in Richmond, Virginia, overturn the previous decision to stop
mountaintop coal mining.
"Clean coal" companies will be able allowed to
continue blasting the tops off mountains and dumping the leftover rock in
valleys, burying streams forever.
"The scientific evidence of the severe
environmental and human impacts from mountaintop mining is strong and
irrefutable." - Margaret Palmer
This web site is not a commercial web site and
is presented for educational purposes only.
This website defines a
new perspective with which to engage reality to which its author adheres. The
author feels that the falsification of reality outside personal experience has
forged a populace unable to discern propaganda from reality and that this has
been done purposefully by an international corporate cartel through their
agents who wish to foist a corrupt version of reality on the human race.
Religious intolerance occurs when any group refuses to tolerate religious
practices, religious beliefs or persons due to their religious ideology. This
web site marks the founding of a system of philosophy named The Truth of the
Way of the Lumière Infinie - a rational religion based on reason which
requires no leap of faith, accepts no tithes, has no supreme leader, no church
buildings and in which each and every individual is encouraged to develop a
personal relation with the Creator and Sustainer through the pursuit of the
knowledge of reality in the hope of curing the spiritual corruption that has
enveloped the human spirit. The tenets of The Truth of the Way of the
Lumière Infinie are spelled out in detail on this web site by the
author. Violent acts against individuals due to their religious beliefs in
America is considered a "hate crime."
This web site in no way condones
violence. To the contrary the intent here is to reduce the violence that is
already occurring due to the international corporate cartels desire to control
the human race. The international corporate cartel already controls the world
economic system, corporate media worldwide, the global industrial military
entertainment complex and is responsible for the collapse of morals, the
elevation of self-centered behavior and the destruction of global ecosystems.
Civilization is based on cooperation. Cooperation does not occur at the point
of a gun.
American social mores and values have declined precipitously
over the last century as the corrupt international cartel has garnered more and
more power. This power rests in the ability to deceive the populace in general
through corporate media by pressing emotional buttons which have been
preprogrammed into the population through prior mass media psychological
operations. The results have been the destruction of the family and the
destruction of social structures that do not adhere to the corrupt
international elites vision of a perfect
world. Through distraction and coercion the direction of thought of the
bulk of the population has been directed toward solutions proposed by the
corrupt international elite that further consolidates their power and which
further their purposes.
All views and opinions presented on this web
site are the views and opinions of individual human men and women that, through
their writings, showed the capacity for intelligent, reasonable, rational,
insightful and unpopular thought. All factual information presented on this web
site is believed to be true and accurate and is presented as originally
presented in print media which may or may not have originally presented the
facts truthfully. Opinion and thoughts have been adapted, edited, corrected,
redacted, combined, added to, re-edited and re-corrected as nearly all opinion
and thought has been throughout time but has been done so in the spirit of the
original writer with the intent of making his or her thoughts and opinions
clearer and relevant to the reader in the present time.
Fair Use Notice
This site may contain copyrighted material the use of which has
not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making
such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of criminal
justice, human rights, political, economic, democratic, scientific, and social
justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such
copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In
accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is
distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in
receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For
more information see: www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to
use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond
'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
© Lawrence Turner
All Rights Reserved