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Particulate Matter Pollution Exists. Farm Dust Exists. Pixie Dust is a Fantasy. And EPA is Still Not Regulating Them.

By Aaron Mintzes

December 8, 2011

Despite a promised Presidential veto, the House of Representatives voted today to pass HR 1633, the “Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act of 2011”.  While pollution from PM poses serious public health risks, there is no such thing as farm dust for purposes of the Clean Air Act.  Nor is there such thing as farm dust for the purposes of HR 1633; the only place those words appear in the bill is in the title.  Farm dust seems like nothing more than tiny harmless grains of common dirt.  Since the movement toward new regulations for either dirt or PM is just fantasy, Democrats have mocked this bill as preventing regulation of pixie dust. HR 1633 instead talks about “nuisance dust”. 

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Tagged with: epa, regulations, farm dust, particulate matter, house energy and commerce


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


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