Short Term Gain, Long Term Pain

Central Appalachia and Coal are almost synonymous in some people’s minds. After all, the American industrial revolution was fired primarily by Appalachian coal.  The coal miner is a symbol of this region. Yet coal never has lived up to its constant pledges to bring prosperity to Appalachia.  And as coal begins to play out, its supporters are ever more fervent to squeeze the last drop of profit from the blood of the mountains and their mountaineers.

CFTM Combats Appalachian Coal Abuse as Our Top Policy Issue

Appalachian coal fired the American Industrial Revolution in the 19th and 20th centuries that contributed to our nation’s powerful economy and luxuriant lifestyle. Yet this has come at a cost to coal mining regions. Cycles of boom and bust economies, exploitation of labor, ruined health, corrupted politics, degraded landscapes, and mono-economies that squeeze out economic diversity are the legacy of Appalachian coal. We pledge to stop being a national sacrifice zone, and to help remake Appalachia as vibrant, clean, sustainable, and healthy region to live for human and speices of our now present and then future generations.


Coal pollutes in every stage, from its mining, tranportation, combustion, and ash disposal. Coal is the worst fuel emitting greenhouse gasses that exacerbate climate change.

Coal extraction degrades God's creation

Coal’s excesses include mountaintop removal, acidic water, watershed destruction, and universally leads to eventual community decline, impoverishment, and worker exploitation.

Health Impacts

Recent studies point to serious community health impairments and morbidity in mountaintop removal communities. CFTM helped lead family health research, and supports the ACHE Act that could lead to the end of moutaintop removal.

Advocacy and Action

Stop coal abuse to develop vibrant sustainable communities.


Statements on the cost of coal.

Reclaimed is an award-winning photography by Lyn Govette that shows nature struggling to get a toehold on MTR

AP Story on massive continuing Coal pollution Impacts on Water

Weak Walls on many Sludge Impoundments Pose a Danger to Downstream Communities (Washington Post, April 2013)

The Poverty of Mountaintop Removal Mining (Earthjustice, January 2013 .pdf)

American Institute of Biological Sciences brings out report that says MTR has negative effects on biodiversity, climate, etc. (April 2013)

Map that shows poverty rates by county in Appalachia with overlay of MTR operations

Polls conducted in WV, Tn, Ky, Va. show strong opposition to MTR

Why Fracking and Coal Cannot Get Along

Maria Gunnoe testifies before Congressional Committe that censors a polluted bathtub photo

Op-Ed in Charleston Gazette on health ramifications of the Spruce court decision

Vern Haltom of Coal River Mountan Watch on the Precautionary Principle and coal slurry impoundments. (Chas. Gazette)

ACHE Act Bill H.R. 526 Reintroduced February 6, 2013 and the Official Summary

Scientists Testify Before Congress On Health Effects Of Mountaintop Removal (April 16, 2012)

Full Cost Accounting for the Life Cycle of Coal (Dr. Paul Epsteing, Harvard Medical School, et al; 2011)

March on Blair Mountain 2011

Rally at EPA headquarters (June 2011)

Central Appalachian Health Crisis

Op-Ed in Charleston Gazette on health ramifications of the Spruce court decision

[Slide Show that Maria Gunnoe entered into the record] *** [photo of child in bathtub Committee ordered deleted under charge of obscenity]

Family Cemeteries under assault from Mountaintop Removal Coal Operations. Desecration.

Congress threatens public safety on toxic coal ash disposal

Environmental Justice Petition on MTR under Executive Order to protect Appalachian communities (.pdf)

Coal industry turning against Sen. Rockefeller who is no longer rubber stamping the industry (Forbes, 12/06/2012

Why Don’t We Calculate Health Care Costs into the Price of Coal Power? (Derek Mead)

Coal Industry View on Coal Future by the International Energy Agency

China’s Coal Economy Influences the Price of Appalachian Coal (WV State Journal, Feb. 2012)

Appalachian Coal Economy Losing Energy Price Battle with Shale Gas (Bloomberg, March, 2012)

Controversy over Jobs vs. Envirionment Mountaintop Removal Communities (Fayette, County, WV, August, 2012)

Candidates Romney and Obama Grovel and Pander Before King Coal, instead of Exposing Its Harm and more on the Election and Coal (Ken Ward)

“War on Coal Label Obscures Reality During Presidential Campaign” (Vicky Smith, AP, Oct. 2012. CFTM’s Allen Johnson quoted)

Illinois Ranks “Worst” as a Rogue Coal Stare as Strip Miners Run Roughshod (Jeff Biggers, May 2013)

Coal Industry Propaganda Invades Elementary School Curriculums (NY Times article by Tamar Lewin, May 2011)

Population Changes 1980-2010 with overlay on MTR operations. .pdf

Over Five million pounds daily of explosives blow up mountains in Appalachia