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Supercommittee: Follow the Money

By Aaron Mintzes

November 4, 2011

There are tons of ideas out there to help out the Supercommittee decide which services to cut and revenues to raise. Their report is due on November 23 when we expect that Congress will get to have an up or down vote (that is, no amendments allowed) on their recommendations.

Some of the ideas are better than others. The better ones look at the low hanging fruit: government subsidies of incredibly successful industries-especially the oil, gas, and mining companies. Here are a couple of the good ones.

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Tagged with: subsidies, markey, tax expenditures, supercommittee, tax


House Majority seeks to Mine the Grand Canyon

By Aaron Mintzes

November 3, 2011

Today, I attended a hearing of the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands. The subcommittee was considering four bills. Three of them had to do with establishing national monuments.

The fourth (HR 3155), ironically, had to do with opening up one million acres of lands surrounding the Grand Canyon to uranium mining. Obviously, EARTHWORKS opposes mining around the Grand Canyon and we encourage you to join us.

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Tagged with: uranium mining, grand canyon, representative raul grijalva


Deals with the Devil, Pennsylvania style

By Nadia Steinzor

November 1, 2011

Over the weekend, I blogged on efforts in the Pennsylvania Senate to make a devil's bargain through a bill that would establish an impact fee on gas drillers--but greatly restrict the rights of municipalities to take measures (like zoning) to protect communities from the damage caused by drilling. Thanks to widespread push-back, including from the PA Campaign for Clean Water, the Senate has postponed the vote.

But today, the House declared its own willingness to sell the souls of Pennsylvania's communties for some quick revenue--introducing a bill that would strip local governments of any say over any aspect of drilling.

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Tagged with: marcellus shale, pennsylvania, local ordinances, gas development


Dirty Gold Videos: customers start to send in video messages to Costco

By Nick Magel

October 31, 2011

Costco has tried to avoid any controversy when it comes to their gold products, but their customers won't let them. They refused to answer the over 1000 customer posts on their Facebook page. Then, when customers called the company directly, Costco failed to return a single call. Costco executives turned off their phones and sent customers directly to voicemails.

Costco is making two things clear: they do not feel accountable to their customers (many who make up the over 25,000 calling on Costco), and they are not moved by the thought of human rights abuses, environmental destruction, and unfair labor being associated with the gold they sell to you at their stores.

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Tagged with: no dirty gold, golden rules, costco, video, take action, ndg


Bill that would destroy sacred sites, campground, passes House of Representatives

By Lauren Pagel

October 31, 2011

Last week, the House passed HR 1904, the Southeastern Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act, by a vote of 235 to 186. The bill would take a campground and sites sacred to area tribes out of public hands and turn it over foreign-owned mining companies.

A subsidiary of Rio Tinto and BHP - Billiton is proposing to mine a rich copper vein on public and private lands east of Superior, Arizona. Because the proposed mine would most likely destroy the area in question, the company, called Resolution Copper, is pushing for legislation to privatize the Oak Flat Campground, which has been withdrawn from mining since the 1950’s, and surrounding public lands in the Tonto National Forest.

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Tagged with: public lands, oak flat, arizona, hr 1904, congressman grijalva


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