Great column in the Knoxville News-Sentinel on what the Bush administration's latest giveway to the mining industry means for America's mountains, including the majestic Smokies. A taste:
On the eve of its final Christmas in the White House, the Bush administration is giving a farewell present to Southern Appalachia.
A giant lump of coal.
Whether you accept this as a heartfelt gift or a slap in the face depends largely on how you view the mountains of this region: a warehouse for fossil fuels or a treasured birthright to be passed along to future generations.
Couldn't have said it better myself; go read the whole of Sam Venable's column. so here it is re-printed in full: