Children paid in dirt: Could gold from these mines be sold at Macy’s and Costco?

By Nick Magel

December 7, 2011

Last night NBC aired “The Price of Gold”. The program traveled to the west African country of Mali to explore the gold mines of the region that have boomed since the spike in gold prices. Richard Engel sits down with young boys who work in the mines only to be paid in bags of dirt, he hears stories of children being pulled from school to mine from gold, and visits families that are constantly exposed to the highly toxic mercury and its fumes during the crude separating process.

The report is as disturbing as it is important.

Video after the jump.

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Tagged with: mining, gold, no dirty gold, jewelry retailers, child labor

Fracking season is upon us. Have you been inoculated?

By Sharon Wilson

December 6, 2011

A particularly potent virus that first surfaced in Texas during the 1990s and spread to epidemic proportions in over thirty U.S. States has now become a worldwide pandemic.

The virus spreads person-to-person but there are cases where people in remote, isolated areas contract it with no exposure. Once you have contracted the virus, you will have it for life. Getting inoculated is the only protection.

The name for this virus, “Fracking Insurgency,” was made public for the first time on October 31, 2011. Audio of the announcement is available online.

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Tagged with: fracking, hydraulic fracturing, psyops

Top fisheries scientists weigh in on 1872 Mining Law Reform

By Bonnie Gestring

December 6, 2011

It’s no secret that mining is no friend to our nation’s trout streams.  Now a group of top scientists from across the west, with over a century of combined experience, have weighed in on the topic, with a terrific opinion piece in the Anchorage Daily News.  Don’t miss it!

And, if you want more detail, go to the full peer-reviewed article in Fisheries magazine, where they’ve supplied an endless number of case studies, and detailed recommendations for reforming the 1872 mining law.

Last month, Rep. Edward Markey of Massachusetts introduced a mining law reform and abandoned mine clean-up bill (H.R. 3446), which tackles many of these important issues.

As the scientists say, “We encourage Congress to bring our nation's mining law into the 21st Century. It's long overdue.

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Tagged with: 1872 mining law

Flip-Flopping on Federalism: Who’s the Better Regulator?

By Aaron Mintzes

December 6, 2011

Much of the refrain we hear from the House Majority in D.C. over the government’s proper regulatory role over fracking emphasizes local control.  Too often the rhetoric references faceless and unaccountable Washington bureaucrats imposing a one-size-fits-all solution that stifles innovation and efficiency.  Beyond the mere rhetoric, we often here fracking proponents argue that local geology calls for local regulation.  That is, those elected and regulatory officials closest to and most familiar with the geological differences between, say Texas and Colorado, are best equipped to design a regulatory regime to fit. 

Curious then, what we see from the Keystone state.  The state legislature in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is debating a pair of industry-supported bills designed to remove a municipality’s zoning power to curb drilling operations.  Instead, faceless and unaccountable Harrisburg bureaucrats will decide where, when, and how many drilling wells will appear near schools, hospitals, and senior centers in small townships all over Pennsylvania. 

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Tagged with: fracking, hydraulic fracturing, pennsylvania, zoning, clean water cooperative federalism act, federalism

Peru declares state of emergency as opposition grows against Conga gold mine.

By Nick Magel

December 6, 2011

Late last night President Humala, in a nationally televised address, declared a State of Emergency in four provinces in the state of Cajamarca. The provinces have been the center of the country’s anti-mining protests for the past months because of the record-breaking $4.8 billion Conga gold mine project.

The declaration comes after nearly two weeks of sustained protests in the region calling for the Conga Project, owed by Denver-based Newmont Mining, to be cancelled permanently. Communities and farmers claim that the project threatens the water that has been relied on for livelihood and survival for generations.

"We are not radical. It's just that the Conga project has no legitimacy in the eyes of the people." Milton Sanchez, one of many protest leaders

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Tagged with: no dirty gold, gold mining, newmont, peru, fpic, conga

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