National Geographic : 2014 Apr
Madison, west virginia They call it mountaintop removal. For each ton of coal taken from the Hobet 21 mine, 20 cubic yards of mountain are blasted away, then dumped in valleys. Hundreds of square miles of Appalachian ridges have been dismantled that way. PAnoRAMA coMPoSed oF TWo IMAgeS. The U.S. mines more than a billion tons of coal a year. once it came mostly from underground mines in the east; now strip mines in the West dominate. domestic demand has fallen lately, but exports to europe and Asia have increased. u.S.