Coal Mining Essay

1145 words - 5 pages

Coal mining has been around for decades since the 1800s and coal has been powering our lights even till today. The documentary called, "Burning the future: Coal in America" presented a lot of vital information about how the coal industries work and how coal helps the nation stay lit. Countries that build the world's biggest coal plants are the United States, China and India. The states that practice coal mining are Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia. Coal power plants emissions contain many elements and compounds including sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxide and other elements including one of the largest sources which are carbon dioxide. Burning the future discusses the many factors that cause devastating outcomes. Mountain top removal and strip mining is a process to obtain the coal and procedure has been practiced for many years in America. Coal supplies more than half of the energy for America and in the documentary, Ed Hopkins who is a director of environmental Quality in the sierra club states that, "Coal supplies more than half of the energy right now, we are going to rely on coal in the near future there is no way around that". Coal supplies may be the only energy that can produce half of the nation's electricity but there are other alternatives that can replace coal.The process in coal mining is basically mountain top removal. Mountain top removals consist of about five steps. The first step in mountain top removal is forest are cleared-cut and in this process miners must destroy wild life habitat and also using explosives to get deep into the core of the mountain top to obtain the coal seam. The second process is using huge shovels to dig into the soil and trucks that haul away the remains and push it into the valleys. The third process is to dig into the rock and expose the coal. Coal industries have machines that weigh nearly eight million and these big machines are operated by mine workers. These machines can tear up a mountain in a year and these coal industries make a lot of money because they provide electricity for people like us. The fourth process is when the machines gather a large layer of coal, dumping them on the adjacent valleys which creates valley fills. The last process is basically coal industries are usually supposed to reclaim the land but usually they leave the area bare. Although majority of the industries replant vegetation in reality the mountain will never return to its original state and this can cause many issues to the people in the area and also around the world. Mountain top generates a huge amount of waste because coal must be burned and it generates a lot of liquid waste which forms into slur. It contains carcinogenic compounds and toxic heavy metals and the slur is stored in large areas of water that sometimes can leak or break and the outcome is floods and water contamination.Coal mining contributes to climate changes and also health issues. The main issues we are having today are air pollution, disrupted...

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