This online reference site features reporting on environmental issues. One article entitled, "Mountaintop Removal" relays one reporters in-depth investigation of the legal processes that the coal industry is supposed to go through before practicing strip coal mining in the mountains, but how frequently it forgoes the necessary processes before mining. The article describes some of the stipulations to coal mining, including rebuilding land that has been destroyed and reclaiming the land to its approximate original contour. This article would be useful to a researcher because it provides background to the legal processes that must take place before mining, and how the government attempts to regulate the process. However, because the coal industry frequently disregards the necessary procedures, a researcher can infer that mountaintop removal is taking place under untruthful terms, or at least research further into coal industry and government negotiations.
(2008). Britannica. West Virginia, from http://britannica.com/eb/article-78622/West-Virginia
This encyclopedia entry provides background on West Virginia and their history in coal mining. The entry describes West Virginia's employment record, how coal mining processes have evolved, and other industries in the region that have an effect on the coal industry. This entry would be useful to a researcher because it gives more of a background on West Virginia's economy as a whole and how that plays a role in the coal industry and mountaintop removal practices. Knowing how West Virginia's industries as a whole come together and function can help the researcher see where coal mining fits into the economy and weigh the consequences of allowing mountaintop removal and not allowing it.