An article, written by Lucas L. Johnson II for the Associated Press, stated that a proposed "Scenic Vistas Protection Act" that could ban mountaintop removal coal mining was killed by the Tennessee State Senate on Wednesday.
This type of coal mining "involves blasting apart mountain ridge tops to expose multiple coal seams. The resulting rock and debris is dumped in streams, creating what the industry calls valley fills."
This particular bill would have banned "any mining that alters ridgelines more than 2,000 feet above sea level...and would exclude mines with current mining permits."
Rep. Gloria Johnson of Knoxville was interviewed and stated "If we do nothing to protect our mountaintops, we will be left with nothing. Our irreplaceable mountains will be destroyed... and our multi-billion dollar tourism industry will be left in shambles."
Others worry by stopping the coal mining, jobs will be lost and would potentially be the start of the termination of all Tennessee coal mining. "We've got three permits right now that are above 2,000 feet that we are about to go to work on," Tennessee Mining Association President Chuck Laine told reporters after the hearing. "That would have been 350 jobs right there."
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