Here are some images of what happens when coal is extracted by blowing the tops off the mountains. The coal companies claim they can restore the mountains but that is simply not true. They can only throw wild grass on top, grass that is not native to West Virginia, which grows in scraggly patches here and there. The mountain is dead forever.

Photo: Vivian Stockman/SouthWings. See more about mountaintop removal at the Grist website (