Synopsis by Andrea LeVasseur
University of Iowa professor Sasha Waters directs the documentary Razing Appalachia, taking its title from an article in Mother Jones. In 1998, Arch Coal Inc. announced the decision to enlarge its strip mine near the town of Blair, WV. The expanded Dal-Tex strip mine would gather coal by way of mountaintop removal, meaning hundreds of jobs for union coal miners in the area. Just a mile away from Blair Mountain, the destruction from the mine expansion would cause longtime residents of Pigeonroost Hollow and Creek to lose their rustic Appalachian community. Waters explores the conflict between 40 Pigeonroost families against the Arch Coal company along with a brief history of coal mining and the lack of environmental protection in West Virginia. Part of the Independent Lens series on PBS, Razing Appalachia has been screened at film festivals, schools, and community groups across the U.S.
Appalachia, coal, environmentalism, grassroots, hardships, isolation, land-war, mine, mining-company, poverty, strip-mining, union [labor union]