Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Cleveland-Cliffs & Northshore Mining, for shame

Where the rain never falls and the sun never shines,
It's dark as a dungeon, way down in the mines.

Nothing, but nothing, epitomizes the greed of big corporations more than the innocuous-sounding "surface mining" that is destroying Appalachia just to pull more tons of filthy coal from the mountains. Filthy coal, that sends megatons of carbon emissions into the air along with other pollutants, filthy coal that Minnesota Power burns at Taconite Harbor and releases into our airshed, filthy coal that could within a decade or two choke all of us trying to breathe. This we knew, or at least True knew.
But the merger of Cleveland-Cliffs with the Appalachian coal mining company with the Orwellian name of Alpha Natural Resources makes us accomplices. Last year alone in Kentucky, 50 million tons of coal were dredged from the surface of the Appalachian mountain range by, among other methods, cutting off the tops of the mountains and throwing them down into the valleys. The mountaintops are called "overburden." I shit you not.
Compare this with the five million tons of magnetite pellets being produced annually by Northshore Mining, a subsidiary of Babbitt-based Cleveland-Cliffs, now to be known as Cliffs Natural Resources, "A Leading Diversified Mining and Natural Resources Company."
It is time for residents of northern Minnesota to admit their culpability. The mountaintop leveling now supported by the merged company surely ranks right up their with the proposed Polymet copper-nickel mine that will create dead zones in our watershed.
Where is your outrage, North Shore citizens? What will you leave of earth, water and air to your children? Here's a link to the Duluth Tribune story that conveniently glosses over the devastating truth:

Duluth News Tribune | Cleveland-Cliffs announces merger with Appalachian coal company in $10 billion deal

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