By Joan Braune
Mountaintop removal has led to poisoned drinking water, deadly avalanches, and unemployment in Appalachian communities. The recurring blasts shake homes, destroy graveyards and other important sites, and irreparably flatten the beautiful mountains and forests, some of the oldest in the world. Residents of the region are often left feeling as though they are living in a war zone. In a constant drive for profit, coal companies treat coalfield residents as collateral damage, “externalities” that do not need to be taken into account.