Ex-Miner and Family

Lucious Thompson, who lives in nearby Tom Biggs Hollow, joined Kentuckians for the Commonwealth when he found his land disrupted from above. "There's good mining and there's bad mining," Mr. Thompson said. "Mountaintop removal takes the coal quick, 24 hours every day, making my streams disappear, with the blasting knocking a person out of bed and the giant 'dozers beep-beeping all night so you cannot sleep." <br />
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Mr. Thompson spoke with the authority of a retired underground miner. Underground miners led quieter, more pastoral lives above harsh, deep workplaces that were far out of sight. Now, the hollow dwellers have become witnesses more than miners as a fast-moving, high-volume process uses mammoth machinery to decapitate the coal-rich hills.