Birmingham News reporter Thomas Spencer had a great article in Sunday's paper on the rise in the cost of coal (from $70 a ton in 2003 to $200 in 2008) and the surge of interest in mining sites in Alabama previously considered cost-prohibitive. Residents in Cullman and Blount counties are organizing and fighting back against proposed strip-mining sites in their area, which they worry could lead to water pollution, barren land and air pollution. The well-reported article
features interviews with residents, developers, the director of the Alabama Surface Mining Commission and a statement from the coal company. It's a must read, so kudos to Spencer.