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dude have you seen the climax mine? before and after pics make it look pretty impressive... they essentially tore down that mountain and it was over 12,000 feet, granted they only took a few thousand feet off.
any mountain can be torn down if we want whats inside bad enough, its sad, but unavoidable given current trends
Going back to the point that you had about coal mining supporting this economy, in the original post it talked about how "under the mountain" mining creates more job opportunities then this "leveling of the mountain" mining. Although I don't support either kind of mining, would't it be better for the economy and the environment if we stopped this specific kind of mining, which seems to be so destructive?