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The Real McCoys| 22mins
Director: Greenpeace USA | Producer: Greenpeace USA
Focus Years: 2009 | Country: United States
Subject Tags: americas, environment, resources, sanitation, united states
Quality Tags: Optimistic, Slow, Activating, Harmonizing
Meet Nina and Mickey McCoy, schoolteachers from Inez, Kentucky, as they take their fight against King Coal to Washington. This special documents some of the disastrous impacts of coal mining on Central Appalachia, where twenty-five percent of the McCoys' county has now been strip-mined. In addition to the destruction of these historic landscapes, the process of mountaintop removal wreaks havoc on the ecosystem. The leftover material is dumped into "valley fills", which have thus far destroyed over 1,000 miles of streams. The cleaning of the coal brings still more problems: the sludge left over from the process is stored in enormous ponds, one of which broke in Inez, sending 350 million gallons of toxic waste into the McCoys' community. Since the sludge spill in 2000, residents of Inez have not been able to drink the town's water, and water remains the best-selling item in the supermarket. "How can anybody claim that if we don't have coal, we'll be worse off?" asks Nina. "I don't think we could be any worse off."

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