Here's a crazy idea: Let's allow huge corporations to fire coal miners and use cheaper mining techniques that endanger public health.

Let's allow them to blast the tops off America's Appalachian Mountains and dump the waste into nearby streams. Let's allow them to get away with polluting families' drinking water with mercury, lead, sulfur and other dangerous chemicals.

That's just what we're doing.

Here's a better idea: Let's demand Congress pass the Appalachian Community Health Emergency (ACHE) Act, H.R. 526. The Act will place a moratorium on new mountaintop removal "mines" until the science demonstrates that mountaintop removal poses no risk to residents' health and lives.

I urge Congressmen Joe Pitts and Scott Perry to support H.R. 526.

While we're at it, let's demand that the president and EPA set strong water quality standards. Let's hold coal companies accountable for their pollution. Let's provide the greatest immediate protection for waters and communities. Let's insist that our elected officials base policy on science, not corporate profits.

Surely we have an obligation to preserve our national heritage for future generations, including our mountains and vital waterways, and to ensure that Appalachian communities don't suffer because we failed to speak up for them.

Judith Mueller

Hellam Twp.