Coal isn't clean, and its definitely not cheap. Across the Appalachians, the cost is being paid in entire mountaintops -- and in the health of the environment and its people. Between the hollows of West Virginia, beyond the bluegrass of Kentucky, and above the smoky vistas of Tennessee, companies are blowing the mountains to smithereens to get at the thin coal seams below.

In the process, they are clear cutting miles of forests, filling the rivers with blasted debris, polluting the waters with toxic waste, and sacrificing the safety and sanctity of countless communities. Mountaintop removal mining is not just devastating the regions environment and quality of life. It is also steadily crushing the heart of Appalachia.

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