28 September 2009

Drinking Water

28 September 09

The recent article about drinking water in the NY Times was illuminating and troubling; an occulted legacy of the Bush administrations. We have been so lucky in this country with our seemingly bottomless water resource, which of course has led to squandering. And the Bush cabal set about dismantling regulations and oversight, a combination that has led to a precarious future. One of the examples cited was in West Virginia, where coal companies have been permitted to dispose of coal slurry (the highly toxic mixture of chemicals and water used to wash coal) in old mine shafts. Lo and behold, suddenly the neighbors are getting skin rashes when they shower and diseases if they drink the water. Of course one sympathizes with these people, but my immediate question is: how did they vote? Bush came in with the promise to do exactly what he did: dismantle regulation and get government off the back of business. Wake up. Another coal related water travesty in WV is the permitting of coal companies to dump the mountain-top that is removed in “mountain-top removal mining” into the valley adjacent, thus burying the stream there. In an era of increasing water scarcity, we are letting these mining operations bury pristine streams. Go figure.

Read the story.

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