Patriot Coal to phase out mountaintop removal mining

We cannot overstate how huge today’s news is:

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Patriot Coal has agreed to phase out mountaintop removal and other forms of strip mining in a move Patriot officials say is in the best interests of the company and the communities where it operates.

In a deal with citizen groups, Patriot said it would never seek new permits for large-scale surface mining operations, according to details of the settlement revealed during a federal court hearing here this afternoon.

And check out this statement from their CEO

“Patriot Coal recognizes that our mining operations impact the communities in which we operate in significant ways, and we are committed to maximizing the benefits of this agreement for our stakeholders, including our employees and neighbors,” Hatfield told U.S. District Judge Robert C. Chambers. “We believe the proposed settlement will result in a reduction of our environmental footprint.”

Read the entire story to see the magnitude of this decision, which was spurred by litigation against the company for widespread pollution of waterways in West Virginia.

Rep. John Yarmuth, a co-sponsor of the ACHE Act to ban mountaintop removal mining, released this statement:

“This agreement is a clear admission of the dangers of mountaintop removal coal mining and a key victory for the Appalachian community,” said Congressman John Yarmuth (KY-3). “I commend Patriot Coal for acknowledging the destructive impact of mountaintop removal and for taking steps to protect the communities where it operates. An industry leader finally recognizing that it can be successful without employing this devastating practice is significant progress. Now it’s time for Congress to step up and enact legislation protecting all of Appalachia.”

Corporate responsibility, and clean water, for the win.

One Comment

  1. Buck Fen
    Posted November 15, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    Well this is some of the best news we have ever had for the Appalachian Mountains. Sure hope other coal companies don’t declare war on Patriot Coal for this responsible, ethical decision.