The battle over mountaintop mining for coal has mostly been fought in the U.S. Appalachian region to date, but the issues resonate throughout Indian Country: people fighting for the integrity of their environment and their community members' health. And the battle over whether or not it's ok to reduce a mountain to rubble in the name of coal and jobs is being fought everywhere, in some form or another.
In the CNN special, Battle for Blair Mountain: Working in America, which airs tonight at 8 p.m. eastern time, Soledad O'Brien interviewed people on all sides of the debate, focusing on Spruce Mine No. 1, a longstanding subject of controversy. She told the Huffington Post that it was "an eye-opening experience" and sees the town as “a microscopic representation of the economic and environmental tension that exists all over the country, especially in coal mining states."
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency revoked the mine's water permits last January, citing conflict with the Clean Water Act. The move sparked protests all the way to Washington, and now researchers at West Virginia University (WVU) are studying watersheds in southern coalfields to gauge the ecological effects of mountaintop mining.
See CNN's preview of Battle for Blair Mountain.