LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- Kentucky’s U.S. Senate candidates are unwilling to blast the use of mountaintop removal mining, which unearths coal seams by ripping apart entire ridgelines.
Republican Rand Paul and Democrat Jack Conway are competing to portray themselves as pro-coal.
Seeking to balance environmental concerns with production demands, Conway points to technological advances offering ways to extract coal and “minimize” environmental damage. He said disposal methods are needed so debris left behind doesn’t fill valleys and streams and foul water supplies.
Paul said some coal reserves can only be reached through surface mining on mountains. He said government shouldn’t get in the way of such job creation as long as the actions don’t harm other property or cause safety hazards.
The two provided written responses when asked by The Associated Press whether they believe mountaintop removal coal mining should be banned.
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