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All praise to Sen. Lamar Alexander for trying to stop coal companies from blowing the tops off our mountains. The Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works held hearings
yesterday on the impact of this environmentally devastating method of mining. Legislation to ban mountaintop removal mining has gotten this far thanks in part to Alexander's co-sponsorship as a Republican from a state in the coal industry's cross hairs. The senator said:
"Millions of tourists spend tens of millions of dollars in Tennessee every year to enjoy the natural beauty of our mountains--a beauty that, for me, and I believe for most Tennesseans, makes us proud to live here. Saving our mountaintops is important whether we are talking about cleaning up air pollution, stopping the practice of putting 50-story wind turbines atop our most scenic ridges, or ending the practice of blowing off the tops of mountains and dumping the excess waste in streams. People live in and come to visit Tennessee to see natural beauty of the mountains -- not to see smoggy air, massive ridge top towers and excess waste piled in streams."