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Kentucky Underground

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Written by Basil on 02/4/2006 11:20 PM. Filed under:

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Kentucky’s Underground Economy – New York Times

In this New York Times op-ed piece, Bobbie Ann Mason decries exploitation of Eastern Kentuckians and their land. Mountaintop mining is the process of bulldozing the top off of moutains with Caterpillars and TNT and extracting the coal below. The impact on people and land is devastating.

Bobbie Ann Mason is a native of Western Kentucky and an artist in residence at the University of Kentucky in Lexington.

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5 Responses to “Kentucky Underground”

  1. Mimi Says:

    I’ve read her fiction, but not this article. Thanks for the links.

  2. Ian Says:

    Non-American ignorance, but I’m just curious: is East Kentucky a poorer area, relatively? I’m just wondering how such things could happen and, at least in my (little) knowledge, it tends to be those who are less educated and such who are exploited and whose environment is destroyed.

    Prayers that we all learn that we are custodians of the earth in place of God; not rapers and pillagers of it.

  3. Basil Says:

    Ian, yes. Eastern Kentucky is in the Appalachian Mountains, which extends from the northeastern tip of Georgia to Pennsylvania. The region and its people share very similar characteristics with mountain folk around the world. They do tend, on average, to possess less education and to be very provinical. If you think about this in terms of the impact geography has on mountain cultures, it makes perfect sense.

    For the perspective of a Eastern Kentucky native, doing doctoral studies in musicology at the University of Kentucky, see Paige’s blog, “Hillbilly is the New Black.”

  4. Kentucky writers speak out against mountaintop removal | Kevin Basil Says:

    […] I wrote before about mountaintop mining in Kentucky. A recent article in the Kentucky Herald-Leader is interesting because it mentions at least one author actually affected by the practice, Letcher County native Artie Ann Bates. One of the most impassioned speakers was Artie Ann Bates, a writer and native of Letcher County, whose family’s homeplace has been ravaged by strip mining. […]

  5. Jim Says:

    There have been some terrible tragedies in mining and most are unfortunately the result of human errors. Humanity learns from it’s mistakes and improves. Not everything about coal is bad. Coal is what brought the majority of people to E. KY. Take a look at both sides before judging. there are some impassioned people out there who oppose any form of mining, but frankly your lifestyle and just about everything we use is based on coal, including these computers and the internet. Our internet usage is estimated to have increased electrical demand in the US by about 8% in recent years.