The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 18 Jul 2011 00:37:14
From: Portside Moderator <moderator@PORTSIDE.ORG>
Subject: Appalachia's Deepening Human Rights Crisis

Appalachia's Deepening Human Rights Crisis
By the numbers
Sue Sturgis
Institute for Southern Studies
July 14, 2011

Of every 100,000 babies born, number who suffer from
birth defects in areas of Appalachia where coal is mined
by mountaintop removal, in which ammonium nitrate fuel
oil explosives are used to expose coal seams: 235

In non-mining areas: 144

Percent higher risk of having a baby with a birth defect
for mothers who smoked during pregnancy compared to non-
smoking mothers: 17

Percent higher risk of having a baby with a birth defect
for mothers living in mountaintop removal areas compared
to mothers living in non-mining areas: 42

Percent that a mother's smoking increases the risk that
her baby will be born with defects of the circulatory or
respiratory system: 17

Percent that a mother's living in a mountaintop removal
mining area increases the risk of such defects: 181

Number of birth defects with rates significantly higher
near mountaintop removal mining sites: 6*

Additional number of unhealthy days per year experienced
by residents of mountaintop removal mining counties
compared to non-mining areas: 18

Number of years that amounts to over an average American
lifetime: almost 4

Date on which a law firm representing the National
Mining Association (NMA) posted an analysis faulting the
study looking at mountaintop removal and birth defects
for failing to account for "consanguinity" (i.e.,
inbreeding): 6/28/2011

Date on which the NMA released another critique of the
birth defects study based on the commissioned findings
of Exponent, a California-based consulting firm that
specializes in defending troubled corporations:

Percent of coal produced in the U.S. by mountaintop
removal: 5 to 8

Date on which Appalachian grassroots leaders launched a
petition calling for a moratorium on mountaintop removal
mining: 7/12/2011

Date on which mountaintop removal mining opponents held
an emergency press conference in Washington to draw
attention to a bill that would strip the Environmental
Protection Agency of the power to regulate the practice:

Amount in campaign contributions from mining interests
to Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.), the sponsor of that bill:

Vote by which that legislation passed the House the same
day as the press conference: 239-184

* circulatory/respiratory, central nervous system,
musculoskeletal, gastrointestinal, urogenital and


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