John Todd, Samir Doshi, Anthony McInnis, Beyond Coal: A Resilient New Economy for Appalachia, The Solutions Journal, Volume 1, Issue 4, July 2010, Pages 45-52 ( Abstract: The soil is the great connector of our lives, the source and destination of all. —Wendell Berry, Unsettling of America Coal Mining in Appalachia Coal mining has been practiced in Appalachia since the Revolutionary War. An upsurge in extraction began with the twentieth century.1 By its end, increased mechanization produced enough coal to provide over 50 percent of the electricity for the United States, thereby emitting nearly 40 percent of the country's carbon dioxide emissions.2,3 With increasing demand from such developing nations as India and China, Appalachian coal is also being shipped overseas.2,4 Coal slurry is a major contributor to environmental degradation. It consists of a mixture of minute particles of coal, chemicals, water, and waste rock.5,6 Normally it is stored in impoundments built in valleys and hollows or is pumped underground into abandoned mines.7 The earthen dams that hold back the impoundments are built from waste materials from mining. Many of the … Topics: Business; Economy; Energy; Environment