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The House could learn a lesson if it passes the CLEAR Act

By Lauren Pagel

July 29, 2010

As soon as this Friday, the United States House of Representatives will vote on an oil spill response bill to reform offshore drilling practices. H.R. 3534, the Consolidated Land, Energy and Aquatic Resources (CLEAR) Act, also contains a two new protections for onshore oil and gas drilling.

The disaster in the Gulf has shown that oil and gas operators need stringent regulations to ensure the environment is protected. The CLEAR Act addresses these problems by creating new safety standards, higher liability limits, and by closing the revolving door between government and the oil and gas industry. 

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Tagged with: clear act, drilling reform, house of representatives


Reid's spill bill: nevermind the damage to clean water/public health, full speed ahead on gas drilling!

By Cathy Carlson

July 27, 2010

Senator Harry Reid unfolded a narrow energy proposal today in the U.S. Senate. It includes modest reforms in the Nation s offshore drilling program, but creates new incentives for drilling on land -- without addressing any of the needed reforms to the onshore or land-based program.

Drilling for natural gas is spreading out across the country, and the new areas of gas development are seeing new health impacts, polluted air and polluted water. Despite these impacts, Congress acted several years ago to exempt natural gas drilling practices from provisions of the Safe Drinking Water Act and the Clean Water Act, which protect our water supplies from pollution.

One of the many lessons learned during the Gulf oil disaster is that we cannot trust the industry to protect our environment during drilling.

We also know that we have as many problems with the drilling program onshore as we do offshore. For example, the state of Colorado documented over 1,000 spills reported to the state over a two and a half year period.

Congress cannot turn a blind eye to the damage we are creating with natural gas production.

A balanced approach to our energy policy is needed, which recognizes that the impacts of natural gas production must be considered before more taxpayer subsidies are provided to the industry.

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Tagged with: clear act, reform, harry reid, spill bill


Costa Rican forests threatened by gold mine

By Scott Cardiff

July 26, 2010

One of the "Golden Rules" principles says mining companies should not operate in protected areas, fragile ecosystems, or other areas of high conservation or ecological value. Infinito Gold clearly did not get the message. They are trying to impose an open-pit gold mine on communities in the Agua y Paz (Water and Peace) Biosphere Reserve in Costa Rica.

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Tagged with: gold, no dirty gold, costa rica, biosphere reserve, biodiversity, crucitas


Nationwide energy reform should be part of any Gulf spill legislation

By Cathy Carlson

July 21, 2010

Last week, the House Natural Resources Committee approved the CLEAR Act, a bill that would vastly improve our current energy policies affecting federal lands and ocean areas. 

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Tagged with: clear act, gulf spill, nancy pelosi, hr 3534


Are you using "Blood Gold"? Congress may have just helped us figure out.

By Scott Cardiff

July 16, 2010

Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act yesterday with some important provisions for the effort to clean up mining. This includes provisions we pushed that should help allow consumers to know if their gold jewelry is tainted with human rights violations and atrocities in the Congo basin.

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Tagged with: no dirty gold, human rights, transparency, congo, blood gold, coltan, conflict


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