At this point, coal mining is the most destrcutive mining in America. This is both in methodology as well as in frequency, as the coal industry accounts for approximately 50% of American electricity. The first link explores mining as a whole and its effects on the environment, while the second link provides in-depth analysis of various forms of mining, their effects and reasoning behind the continuation of such mining practices.
More specifically, mountain top removal mining is the most environmentally destructive. In this form of mining, as the name implies, entire tops of mountains are blown off to access the natural resources below. This is far more destructive than deep shaft mining because the amount of collateral damage is truly enormous.
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