Check out these two new articles about Appalachia:

A President Breaks Hearts in Appalachia” by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. (Washington Post) explores the impact of mountaintop removal on Appalachia and challenges the Obama administration to take action to stop it. In Kennedy’s words,

Mountaintop removal coal mining is the worst environmental tragedy in American history. When will the Obama administration finally stop this Appalachian apocalypse?

What Happens When You Don’t Own the Land” by Chuck Shuford (Daily Yonder) focuses on the connection between coal mining and poverty in Appalachia. As Shuford demonstrates,

The region’s immense wealth found in timber and coal has never benefitted local communities because it is owned largely by out-of-state corporate interests, resulting in the region’s wealth being transferred to urban centers outside the region. Despite extensive land and mineral holdings, the coal industry historically paid a pittance in taxes, leaving the region deprived of basic municipal services and adequately-funded schools.

Both of these articles are critical reading for anyone who wants to understand – and help to change – conditions in the mountains.

The full text of Kennedy’s article is available at

You can read Shuford’s article at