In Appalachia, mining companies literally blow the tops off mountains to reach thin seams of coal. They then dump millions of tons of rubble and toxic waste into the streams and valleys below the mining sites.
It's time to act now to stop carbon pollution. Carbon pollution is the main contributor to climate disruption, making extreme weather worse -- including more severe floods, widespread wildfires and record drought.
In the United States, more than 40 percent of people live in areas with unhealthy levels of air pollution. Pollution from coal-fired power plants leads to smog (or ozone), a toxic compound and a dangerous irritant.
Every year, the nation’s coal plants produce 140 million tons of coal ash pollution, the toxic by-product that is left over after the coal is burned. All that ash has to go somewhere, and it contains high levels of toxic heavy metals such as arsenic, lead and selenium.