Birth defects study: More inconvenient facts about the impact of mountaintop removal coal miningJune 30, 2011 by Ken Ward Jr.
But as I’ve scanned the papers, the wires and the web, I am not seeing much coverage of this ground-breaking study … Aside from Nyden’s story, I saw pieces from John Cheves from the Herald-Leader and Erica Peterson from WFPL News. I also saw stories from Jim Bruggers at the Courier-Journal and national coverage from Rolling Stone, USA Today and Mother Jones.
But in West Virginia, at least, I didn’t see much from the local media. And gosh, I haven’t seen once single public official issue a news release expressing the slightest bit of concern about whether their constituents (or future constituents) are facing a greater risk of birth defects because of mountaintop removal.
Does the study deserve far more attention, from the media and from policymakers?
Well, here’s what our friend Michael Hendryx said in a news release issued by WVU:
Well, Allen Hershkowitz, a senior scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council,thinks a major review of the public health impacts of mountaintop removal by the National Research Council would be warranted:
First, what did they study?
Mountaintop removal and birth defects: Just what are the coal industry’s lawyers talking about?July 11, 2011 by Ken Ward Jr.
But the internet posting from four of the firm’s lawyers — Clifford J. Zatz, William L. Anderson, Kirsten L. Nathanson, and Monica M. Welt — was, well, here’s what it said:
UPDATE 2: Nicole Quigley, a spokeswoman for Crowell & Moring, has issued this comment in response to my questions about their webpost and its disappearance –
I looked up consanguinity (I was pretty sure that was the word they meant to use, notconsanquinity) and found that it meant:
I emailed all for of the lawyers listed as authors of the web posting, asking them to explain what they meant. I haven’t heard back from any of them yet today, but if I do, I’ll post what they have to say — or I invite them to comment directly on this blog.
I also asked Carol Raulston, spokeswoman for the National Mining Association, about all of this. She said her organization had no role in the law firm’s web posting, but that she didn’t think anyone was saying that inbreeding was the cause of the birth defects reported in the Hendryx paper.
By the way, here’s what Michael Hendryx had to say about the other criticisms of his latest paper: