Our top climate scientist has posted his thoughts on Coal River Mountain and Obama coal policy in general here. He notes:
Coal River Mountain is the site of an absurdity….
The issue at Coal River Mountain is whether the top of the mountain will be blown up, so that coal can be dredged out of it, or whether the mountain will be allowed to stand. It has been shown that more energy can be obtained from a proposed wind farm, if Coal River Mountain continues to stand. More jobs would be created. More tax revenue would flow, locally and to the state, and the revenue flow would continue indefinitely. Clean water and the environment would be preserved. But if planned mountaintop removal proceeds, the mountain loses its potential to be a useful wind source (see here).
The whole note is worth reading, though the analysis of U.S. emissions trends omits a key analysis I posted earlier (see “U.S. carbon dioxide emissions growth during Bush years 300% higher than official estimates“).