By Lauren Pagel
September 16, 2011
While corporate mining fat cats are rolling in dough thanks
to record high gold prices, the hardrock mining industry
pays exactly zero in royalties to American taxpayers for
publicly-owned minerals. Royalties that could fund mine
cleanup jobs. Photo: Flaming Zombie Monkeys
This week, the House Natural Resources Committee held the third installment in their continuing series focused on American jobs and the energy and extraction industries. The premise of the hearing – that reasonable mining regulations to protect taxpayers and water resources always come at a cost to jobs and the economy – sets up a false choice for Americans.
We do not have to sacrifice our public lands to solve our nation’s economic crisis. Responsible management of our resources can both help bolster our economy while protecting our waters and national treasures for future generations.
Real and meaningful reform of the 1872 Mining Law would do just that.
At the hearing, entitled “Creating American Jobs by Harnessing Our Resources: Domestic Mining Opportunities and Hurdles,” Congressman Ed Markey (D-MA) announced plans to introduce 1872 Mining Law reform legislation this fall.
By Alan Septoff
September 16, 2011
This week Senator Cantwell (WA) sent a letter to the EPA urging the agency to protect Alaska’s Bristol Bay – home to our nation’s largest wild salmon fishery.
10 billion tons of toxic mine waste
The Bristol Bay watershed is at risk from the proposed Pebble Mine, which would dispose of up to 10 billion tons of toxic mine waste at its headwaters.
EPA protection Needed
The Senator has asked the EPA to use its authority under section 404c of the Clean Water Act. This provision gives it authority to prohibit or restrict the disposal of mine waste into rivers, streams or wetlands, if science shows it will harm the fishery.
September 15, 2011
When I choose a banker, I want one with enough savvy that he would never say the following:
“Call me naïve, but I’m inclined to trust the industry to be good stewards of this land until they prove me otherwise.”
Naïve? Nah, that’s a profound lack of judgment and ignorance of the historical abuses of the oil and gas industry.
By Gwen Lachelt
September 14, 2011
ConocoPhillips launches natural gas campaign
Two weeks ago Conoco-Phillips invited me to a "Community Leader Engagement Meeting" in Durango, Colorado.
Besides a couple of environmental leaders, the room was filled with elected officials, school administrators and business leaders all hungry for donations and new convention centers.
C-P is the largest company operating south of the state line in San Juan County, New Mexico. It's the fifth largest producer in La Plata County, Colorado.
Five minutes into the "engagement" it was clear that the C-P employees had no intention of sharing future drilling plans and what steps they were going to take to prevent and minimize impacts to protect public health and the environment. Instead, the meeting was about what a great corporate neighbor the company is and how much the company contributes to local schools and communities.
September 14, 2011
Yesterday, I attended a hearing in the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Minerals. They were reviewing a small package of bills that are part of a broader effort by the House majority to highlight the mining industry’s impact on job creation.
This second installment included a discussion of HR 2803, which is a bill instructing the Interior Department to conduct a study exploring the feasibility of drilling for minerals in the shallow and deep sea beds of the United States. The bill is offered by Delegate Faleomavaega of American Samoa and is intended to potentially facilitate the exploration of mineral resources in places like Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands, and other American territories.
I am generally in favor of study...