Kentucky: Sparring with Spoilers

So ruinous to the land is strip min ing for coal, Kentucky's most profit able product, that huge swaths of the Bluegrass State might be mistaken for the moon. Both boon and bane, strip mining gouges out a third of Ken tucky's coal production, which last year reached 93 million tons worth some $500 million. The strip miners use bull dozers to flay great strips off the sur face and get at the veins beneath. This scars Appalachia's hills and flatlands with ugly detritus called overburden or spoil. As the spoil shifts and slides, the hills resound to the...

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