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… and a credit to his breed.

In a provocative speech in the heart of coal country, a noted Appalachian scholar called for an end to surface mining for the good of the state’s economy.

University of Kentucky professor Ron Eller, a Pulitzer-nominated author and former head of the university’s Appalachian Center, said the state must recognize declining coal reserves, political opposition to coal-fired energy, and rising regulations on carbon dioxide emissions.

“We must begin, I think, by abolishing surface mining,” and especially mountaintop removal, Eller said to about 250 people in the keynote speech at the East Kentucky Leadership Conference in Hazard.

Reaction was not entirely warm…

Note the many thoughtful comments from local readers.

More detail here.

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