Mountaintop Removal Mining

Mountaintop Removal mining (MTR) has become the preferred method for extracting coal in North America. This technique involves deforesting, exploding and clearing away the top layer of mountains in order to harvest coal from the seams buried underneath. This method is extremely labor efficient, meaning far fewer miners are required to extract the same amount of coal from year to year. 1970 was the year that the very first MTR Site came into the world, at Bullpush Mountain in Fayette County, West Virginia. Since then, over 15, 094 jobs have been shed from the West Virginia surface mining industry.

Chapter One: Extraction

Chapter Two: Industrial Processing

Chapter Three: Energy Production

Chapter Four: Environmental & Social Impact

Chapter Five: Policy Context

Chapter Six: Updates


Projects & Links

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.