The practice of mountaintop mining was the subject of a recent episode of Decisionmakers, a news feature of the West Virginia Media Network with host Bray Carey.

If you want to see what mountaintop mining really looks like --- what it really means for southern West Virginia -- take a look at this video.

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The following guest editorial by Hal Quinn is scheduled to appear in the Oct. 27th edition of USA TODAY in response to the paper's editorial on mountaintop mining. - L. Popovich

Seeing the Full Picture of Mountaintop Mining

Hal Quinn, president and CEO, National Mining Association

There are several ways to see mountaintop mining in Appalachia, but critics see only one - it's the picture of big shovels extracting coal in rugged terrain. What they don't see are the 80,000-plus jobs in a half dozen states throughout Appalachia that are tied to surface coal mining.

West Virginia's economy depends on coal

I join in support of thousands of West Virginia residents requesting the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Obama Administration to approve the pending mine permits that have been put on hold. West Virginia's economy depends on coal. During this national recession, West Virginia needs to be producing coal in order to keep families working.

Association chief urges West Virginia’s to support state’s coal miners

West Virginia’s coal industry injects more than $7 billion dollars each year into the state’s economy. More than $2 billion of that is in payroll for the state’s active coal miners. Another $1 billion is paid in various taxes each year by the industry.  The remaining $4 billion reflects the overall investment of the industry in the state through equipment purchases, service contracts and other transactions. It does not reflect indirect economic contributions, such as our annual sponsorship of the Friends of Coal Bowl football game between Marshall University and West Virginia University.

Officials from West Virginia University joined industry and other state government officials this past Friday to dedicate the university’s newest addition, a simulated underground coal mine that will be used to train mine rescue teams, new miners and others about the conditions in underground operations.

New WVU President Clements and other WVU officials officially dedicated the football field-sized facility in a grand opening ceremony.