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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


Newmont Mining suspends Conga gold mine development indefinitely

By Nick Magel

December 1, 2011

In the wake of Peru's Ministry on the Environment raising concerns over an Environmental Impact Study, growing community opposition, and strong political blowback the Humala Administration yesterday requested that Newmont suspend all operations at the Conga mine site. In turn, Newmont has agreed to suspend their Conga gold mine development in Northern Peru, indefinitely.

Statement from Earthworks Executive Director, Jennifer Krill, on the suspension of the Conga project:

Earthworks welcomes this week's decision by Newmont Mining Co. to suspend the development of its controversial Conga mine in northern Peru at the request of President Ollanta Humala. The Minas Conga development has been at the center of many weeks of protests by community members and elected officials who are concerned about the project's impacts on the environment, water supplies, health and livelihoods. The project is a partnership between Newmont, Peruvian company Buenaventura, and the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC).

We urge the company, government and communities to open up a meaningful dialogue process that is undertaken in good faith. We also encourage all parties at the table to take the necessary time to build trust and address concerns.

Newmont Mining operates Latin America's largest gold mine, Yanacocha, in northern Peru, and this is not the first time that Newmont's Peruvian operations have been mired in controversy. In 2000, a truck carrying mercury from the Yanacocha deposit spilled 330 pounds of the toxic chemical along a road near the town of Choropampa, sickening hundreds of people, including children. In 2004, Newmont Mining was forced to suspend plans to develop the Cerro Quilish deposit after residents blockaded roads and protested the project."

You can read the complete statement HERE.

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


Attention Shoppers: Macy’s has special on dirty gold. Help us stop it!

By Nick Magel

November 30, 2011

Today Earthworks is cranking up the pressure on Macy’s!

Why?

Macy’s has a dirty little secret they are hiding from their customers this holiday season. Dirty gold.

TAKE ACTION: Today we launched this petition calling Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren to sign the Golden Rules and step up for human rights, environmental protection, and fair labor, this holiday season!

We’ve been waiting for Macy’s to do the right thing and sign on to the “Golden Rules” for responsible metals sourcing for over a year now. In that time, gold mining communities have been kicked off their lands, drinking water has been polluted, and massive labor violations have taken place.

When it comes to gold, Macy’s may not be steering the mining equipment or the bulldozers, but it is in the driver's seat. Jewelry demand accounts for over 80% of annual global gold mine production, and companies that sell jewelry, such as Macy's, can play a powerful role in demanding more ethically produced gold.

By signing the Golden Rules for responsible sourcing, a number of jewelry retailers have taken an imortance stance against destructive mining. What's Macy's waiting for?

While over 80 other major jewelry retailers have stepped up to the task, Macy’s has yet to do the right thing.

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Tagged with: no dirty gold, jewelry retailers, golden rules, jewelry, macys


Protests, resignations, and flawed EIS plague Newmont’s Conga gold mine in Peru

By Nick Magel

November 29, 2011

Opposition is stacking up higher and higher against Newmont’s $4.8 billion mega gold project in Peru. Here is a quick run down of things that are beginning to impact whether this project is longer feasible, or not.

Political -
Today the Deputy Minister of the Environment, Jose de Echave, resigned in protest. Echave said that the Humala government "lacks an adequate strategy for dealing with social conflict." He also raised concerns about the weakening on the Ministry Environment after being restructured to defer to the Presidency of the Council of Ministers

La Republica: Jose de Echave renuncio al viceministerio del ambiente
Washington Post / AP: Peru environment official resigns amid protests by peasants who fear mines will harm water

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Tagged with: mining, no dirty gold, water pollution, newmont, international, peru, conga, yanacocha


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Earthworks honored to receive BENNY award, with Nunamta, for campaign to protect Alaska’s Bristol Bay! bennyawards.org
Peruvian farmworker wins land rights dispute against Newmont: bit.ly/1wtyqN6 #nodirtygold #mining

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