Media Releases

Groups vow to appeal ruling on Longmont fracking ban

Earthworks et. al.

July 24, 2014

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Tagged with: fracking, colorado, ban

Auditor General Issues Critical PADEP Audit: Pennsylvania Environmental Organizations Applaud Investigation’s Goals

Earthworks et. al.

July 22, 2014

Harrisburg, PA – Pennsylvania’s Auditor General office released a highly anticipated audit of the Department of Environmental Protection’s performance regarding shale gas development today.  Auditor General Eugene DePasquale stated that the audit “…shows that the meteoric growth of the shale gas industry caught the Department of Environmental Protection unprepared to effectively administer laws and regulations to protect drinking water and unable to efficiently respond to citizen complaints”. The report is available here:

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Tagged with: fracking, pennsylvania, water contamination

EPA Releases Plan for Restricting Mine Waste Disposal in Alaska’s Bristol Bay watershed

Earthworks and Nunamta Aulukestai

July 18, 2014

Washington, D.C. – An unusual group of Alaska Native leaders, commercial fishermen, investors, jewelers and conservation organizations applauded the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) release today of its Proposed Determination - a detailed plan for restricting mine waste disposal from the proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska’s Bristol Bay watershed. The EPA has authority under Section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act to restrict mine waste disposal that will harm important fisheries. Alaska’s Bristol Bay supports the largest and most productive wild salmon fishery in the world, supplying half of the world’s supply of wild sockeye salmon and generating 14,000 annual jobs and over $450 million in annual revenue.

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Tagged with: mining, epa, bristol bay, salmon, 404c

Congressional initiative would end billions in public land and mineral giveaways, protect scarce water, create jobs


July 10, 2014

July 10, 2014, Washington, D.C. – U.S. House of Representatives Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Peter DeFazio (OR-4) and Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation Ranking Member Raul Grijalva today introduced a long-needed overhaul of the 142-year-old law governing mining of minerals such as gold, copper and uranium on federally-managed public lands.

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Tagged with: mining, 1872 mining law, reform

BJ’s Wholesale Club Says ‘No’ to Dirty Gold

Earthworks and BJ's Wholesale Club

July 2, 2014

July 2nd – Today, BJ’s Wholesale Club, with 202 locations in 15 Eastern U.S. states, became America’s first independent wholesale club company to commit to responsible metals sourcing by endorsing the No Dirty Gold campaign’s Golden Rules, a set of social, human rights, and environmental criteria set to improve metal mining practices around the world. BJ’s is also pledging to source their metals without harming Alaska’s Bristol Bay watershed – the world’s largest wild salmon fishery.

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Tagged with: mining, no dirty gold, golden rules, our bristol bay, bristol bay pledge

Scientists: Fracking Polluted Texas Family’s Drinking Water

June 6, 2014

Last night a Texas TV station broke the news that new independent analysis refutes the oft-repeated claim by the oil and gas industry that “there’s never been a confirmed case of fracking polluting drinking water”.

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Tagged with: fracking, water pollution, range resources, lipsky, geoffrey thyne, wfaa

Fracking ban ballot initiative submitted to Denton City Council


May 7, 2014

Ban garners almost as many signatures as voted in last election 

EagleRidge response to evidence of their pollution exemplifies need for a ban 

Denton, Texas, May 7 -- Today the Denton Drilling Awareness Group submitted for certification to the City Council 1,871 signatures in support of a fracking ban within Denton city limits.  2,200 people voted in the last municipal election.

“These signatures represent Denton citizens of every political stripe coming together to protect their homes and families from the fracking industry,” said Denton Drilling Awareness Group president Cathy McMullen. She continued,  “I worked with the City for years to improve fracking oversight, to no avail. It’s clear this industry will do whatever it can get away with, and the City is paralyzed by the fear of the political consequences of reining it in. A fracking ban is our last and only option.”

Upon receipt of the petition, the City Secretary has twenty days to validate the signatures. Then the City Council must call a public hearing and within sixty days vote on the petition. If approved, it becomes law. If rejected, Denton registered voters consider it as a ballot initiative – likely during the November general election. 

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Tagged with: fracking, regulation, texas, barnett shale, ban, denton, eagleridge, denton drilling awareness group

New legislation would undo state laws on fracking toxics

Earthworks and Environment America

April 28, 2014

Washington, D.C., Apr 28 -- The current draft of the Chemicals in Commerce Act (CICA), made public today, would add another special oil and gas industry loophole to federal environmental law. CICA, legislation that aims to “reform” the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), would block states and localities from requiring the oil and gas industry to reveal the toxics they inject through the water table during hydraulic fracturing. The legislation would also prohibit states or localities from regulating or banning toxic chemicals used in the drilling and fracking process, such as benzene and diesel fuel.

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Tagged with: fracking, toxics, disclosure, chemicals, trade secrets

$3 Million Fracking Damages Jury Award Shows Why Industry Avoids Trials

April 23, 2014

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Tagged with: fracking, texas, lawsuit

EPA methane research welcome, but no substitute for renewables


April 15, 2014

While we encourage the EPA to do everything within its power to stop methane emissions from oil and gas production, that is no substitute for dropping dirty fossil fuels replacing them with truly clean alternatives like conservation and renewable energy.

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Tagged with: fracking, epa, methane

Earthworks applauds Rio Tinto's withdrawal from Pebble Mine proposal in Alaska's Bristol Bay


April 7, 2014

Earthworks applauds Rio Tinto’s decision to withdraw from the Pebble Mine proposal that threatens Alaska’s Bristol Bay watershed, home to the world’s largest wild sockeye salmon fishery. 

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Tagged with: bristol bay, alaska, pebble, indigenous, rio tinto

Statement of Lauren Pagel Earthworks Policy Director On the Obama Administration’s Methane Strategy


March 28, 2014

"We applaud the White House for taking a first step to curb methane emissions, a climate pollutant that is 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

The administration must follow Colorado’s lead and require the Environmental Protection Agency to directly regulate methane pollution from hydraulic fracturing and related drilling. The consequences, both globally and locally, are too dire to allow for self regulation. 

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Tagged with: fracking, methane

Conservation Groups File Suit to Protect Montana’s Smith River

Earthworks, Montana Environmental Information Center and Earthjustice

March 17, 2014

HELENA – Proposed mining exploration activities at the headwaters of Montana’s famed Smith River threaten to degrade water and further strain already low stream flows, according to a formal legal complaint filed in Montana District Court.

Conservation advocates, supported by Smith River outfitters, filed the formal complaint on Friday, March 14th against the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and Tintina Alaska Exploration, Inc., alleging that DEQ failed to conduct an adequate analysis of the many environmental impacts associated with the Black Butte Copper Project, a copper exploration mine proposed by a subsidiary of Canada-based Tintina Resources, Inc.

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Tagged with: mining, montana, smith river, black butte copper

Fracking ban exceeds signature requirement to get on november ballot

Denton Drilling Awareness Group and Earthworks

March 14, 2014

Denton, TX (Mar 14) – Frack Free Denton today announced they have gathered substantially more than the required signatures to put their fracking ban initiative on the November ballot.  Denton City charter requires signatures equal to 25% of votes cast in the most recent general election for an initiative to get on the ballot.

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Tagged with: fracking, texas, ban, denton

Fracking Boom Would Increase California’s Earthquake Danger, Report Finds

March 13, 2014

Hundreds of Oil Wastewater Wells Near Active Faults and Major Cities Already Raising Quake Risk for Millions of Californians

SAN FRANCISCO— Oil companies are increasing California’s earthquake risk by injecting billions of gallons of oil and gas wastewater a year into hundreds of disposal wells near active faults around Los Angeles, Bakersfield and other major cities, according to a new report from Earthworks, the Center for Biological Diversity and Clean Water Action.  

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Tagged with: fracking, california, earthquakes, acidizing, seismic risk, wastewater injection

Washington, D.C. City Council opposes fracking in George Washington National Forest


March 5, 2014

Council resolution passes due to concerns controversial practice threatens DC water supply

Washington, D.C. -- The DC City Council yesterday passed a resolution opposing hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling for natural gas in the George Washington National Forest due to concerns that such development might contaminate drinking water supplies. The 1.1 million-acre forest, located in Virginia and West Virginia, contains headwaters of the Potomac River, the sole source of drinking water for the nation’s capital.

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Tagged with: fracking, drinking water, george washington national forest, dc city council

Proposed EU law will not keep conflict resources out of Europe, campaigners warn

Earthworks, Global Witness, et al

March 5, 2014

A law proposed by the European Commission on responsible sourcing of minerals is not strong enough to prevent European companies’ mineral purchases from financing conflict or human rights abuses, and falls far short of expectations, campaigners said today.
Instead of putting forward robust legislation that would require a wide range of EU-based companies to do checks on their supply chains – known as due diligence – the Commission today announced voluntary measures that will only apply to companies importing processed and unprocessed minerals into the European market. The proposal covers companies involved in the tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold sectors. The campaigners warned that the Commission’s proposal – an opt-in self-certification scheme available to a limited number of companies – is likely to have minimal impact on the way that the majority of European companies source natural resources.

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Tagged with: mining, conflict minerals, european union

EPA Acts to Protect World’s Largest Wild Salmon Fishery from Pebble Mine


February 28, 2014

Dillingham, AK & Washington, D.C.: Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced it is invoking its Clean Water Act authority to assess permanently prohibiting or restricting mine waste disposal into Alaska’s Bristol Bay watershed.  This decision puts on hold attempts to build the Pebble Mine, which would be North America’s largest open pit gold-copper mine.

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Tagged with: mining, epa, gold, bristol bay, alaska, pebble mine

Citizens of Denton, Texas Call For Fracking Ban

Denton Drilling Awareness Group and Earthworks

February 18, 2014

Denton, Texas, February 18 – The Denton Drilling Awareness Group (Denton DAG) today announced they are collecting signatures for a ballot initiative to ban hydraulic fracturing within city limits.  If approved by voters, Denton would become the first major Texas city to ban fracking, and the first city in the country to ban fracking after permits had been previously granted.

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Tagged with: fracking, texas, ban, denton

New EPA Fracking Diesel Guidance Step in Right Direction


February 11, 2014

Washington, D.C. — Today the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released long-awaited guidance (see below for links) describing how the oil and gas industry may use diesel fuel in the fluids used in hydraulic fracturing (fracking).  When it takes effect sometime this year, this will be EPA’s first formal rule or guidance dealing with fracking’s threat to drinking water.  

“Diesel and drinking water don't mix,” said Earthworks executive director Jennifer Krill. She continued, “Even the Cheney-era Congress recognized diesel’s hazard to drinking water.  That’s why, even as they passed the Halliburton loophole to the Safe Drinking Water Act, Congress left the door open for this first-ever EPA oversight of fracking’s threat to drinking water.”

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Tagged with: fracking, epa, regulation, water pollution, drinking water, diesel, guidance

100 jewelers say ‘no’ to dirty gold on Valentine’s Day

Earthworks' No Dirty Gold campaign

February 11, 2014

Feb 11, WASHINGTON, DC – Just in time for Valentine’s Day, over 100 of the world’s leading jewelry retailers– including 8 of the top 10 in the US– have committed to more responsible metals sourcing by signing the No Dirty Gold campaign’s Golden Rules.

“Dirty gold just isn’t romantic,” said Payal Sampat of Earthworks’ No Dirty Gold campaign. “Retailers don’t want consumers to associate gold jewelry with polluted rivers and child labor, and they are joining us in calling on the mining industry to clean up its act.”

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Tagged with: mining, no dirty gold, jewelry retailers, golden rules, 2014, brilliant earth, nunamta aulukestai, kimberly williams, beth gerstein, valentine's day

Congress investigates EPA’s Texas “overreach”, ignores EPA & impacted communities


February 4, 2014

Washington, D.C. & Weatherford, TX – The House Science, Space and Technology Committee will hold a hearing on February 5th entitled “Examining the Science of EPA Overreach: A Case Study in Texas.” On the agenda: Region 6’s intervention to protect Parker County residents whose drinking water was polluted by fracking-enabled methane gas development.

In 2012 Senator James Inhofe asked the Environmental Protection Agency’s Inspector General to investigate Region 6’s intervention. Although the IG released its findings late last year, they were not invited to testify. The IG’s report concluded Region 6 was fully justified in acting to protect area residents from pollution linked to Range Resources’ gas drilling.

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Tagged with: fracking, epa, texas, house science committee

Texas fracking regulators to quake-damaged community: suffer while we study


January 21, 2014

Austin/Azle, Jan 21 – Today 50 residents of the Azle/Reno area traveled to Austin to compel the Texas Railroad Commission to publicly declare how they were going to address the issue of fracking-related earthquakes. Thirty quakes have occurred in the area since fracking wastewater injection wells began.

Despite scientific authorities linking fracking wastewater injection wells to earthquakes, including the United States Geological Survey and the National Academies of Science, the Railroad Commission announced at the meeting that they would not take action to protect the public until after their seismologist had studied the issue in Texas.

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Tagged with: fracking, texas, earthquakes, railroad commission

New study shows Ortiz mine proposal is thirsty and dirty: could consume water equal to use of 7,800 New Mexicans, contribute to climate change, and drain acid into surrounding watershed in perpetuity

January 16, 2014

Santa Fe, New Mexico, January 16th, 2014.   A new coalition of jewelers and conservation groups today released Public Risk, Private Reward: an analysis of the Ortiz Gold Mine proposal, revealing that Santa Fe Gold corporation’s proposed 1000+ foot deep open pit mine in the Ortiz Mountains would consume enough water to sustain thousands of households, and potentially endanger area water supplies by draining acidic runoff into groundwater in perpetuity.

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Tagged with: mining, new mexico, dirty gold, jewelry retailers, groundwater, acid mine drainage, santa fe gold

Alaska Native Tribes, Jewelers, Investors, Commercial Fishermen and Conservation Groups Applaud EPA’s Final Study of Large-Scale Mining in Alaska’s Bristol Bay Watershed


January 15, 2014

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Tagged with: mining, epa, bristol bay, alaska, pebble mine, salmon, northern dynasty

Inspector General: EPA justified in intervention to protect drinking water from fracking-enabled pollution

December 24, 2013

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Tagged with: fracking, epa, regulation, water pollution, texas, range resources, methane, parker county, inspector general, steve lipsky

Comment Period on Drilling Regulations Offers Opportunity for Vital Input

Earthworks et. al.

December 16, 2013

Harrisburg, PA – Environmental groups welcomed Saturday’s news that the Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) proposed updates to Chapter 78 of the Oil and Gas Act were finally sent out for public comment. Though this was viewed as a positive step, the organizations emphasized the need to strengthen many of the vital regulations being proposed. 

“Although our organizations believe there is much that needs to be changed in the proposed regulations, it was time DEP submit its regulatory plans for public scrutiny and comment,” said Thomas Au, State Conservation Chair of the Sierra Club.

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Tagged with: fracking, oil and gas, pennsylvania

Environmental, Health, Sporting Organizations, Call on Interior Secretary Jewell, EPA Administrator McCarthy to Curb Methane Emissions from Oil And Gas Industry

Earthworks et. al.

December 5, 2013

WASHINGTON, December 5, 2013 – A broad group of regional and national environmental and health organizations, joined by sporting and faith-based allies, today called on Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy to substantially reduce emissions of methane from the oil and gas industry on public and private lands, as well as from offshore oil operations. In an open letter, the organizations invoked President Obama’s June 2013 statement that “curbing emissions of methane is critical to our overall effort to address global climate change,” and recommended three essential pathways to clean up methane emissions and set the nation on a path to cut domestic greenhouse gas emissions by 17 percent from 2005 levels by 2020.

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Tagged with: fracking, epa, methane, doi, emissions

Groups urge Canadian officials to withdraw government support of Rosia Montana mining proposal

Earthworks, MiningWatch Canada, etal

December 5, 2013

(Ottawa) December 5, 2013. MiningWatch, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, Council of Canadians and Earthworks join the call of Romanian and Canadian protesters to request the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Members of Parliament for:

Introduction of legislation to make Canadian corporations, particularly extractive industry corporations, accountable for proposed projects and actual operations abroad and
Withdrawal of Canadian Government support for Gabriel Resources' mining project in Romania at Rosia Montana.

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Tagged with: mining, fpic, canada, romania, gabriel resources, rosia montana

Christmas gifts come early for fracking industry: House to give oil & gas companies weaker oversight of environmental and public health impacts


November 20, 2013

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Tagged with: fracking, regulation, congress, house of representatives, hr2728, hr1965, hr1900

New Fracking Report Finds High Levels of Water Consumption and Waste Generation

Earthworks et. al.

October 30, 2013

Charleston, West Virginia, October 30, 2013—Today, a report was released that provides the most recent and comprehensive investigation of water used and waste generated by Marcellus Shale gas extraction operations in West Virginia and Pennsylvania. Based on state and industry data, the report finds that the volumes of water and waste are a cause for concern, and inadequate industry reporting requirements leave the true extent of the problem unknown. 

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Tagged with: fracking, water, water contamination, waste, water withdrawal, water usage

Fracking-Harmed Residents from Across the U.S. Confront President Obama and EPA, Demand Reopening of Investigations of Poisoned Drinking Water in Pennsylvania, Texas and Wyoming

Earthworks et. al.

September 25, 2013

Washington, D.C. –Today, residents personally harmed by gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” held a press conference in front of the White House and then delivered 250,000 petition signatures from concerned citizens across the United States to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy at EPA headquarters. The residents - including Ray Kemble from Pennsylvania, Steve Lipsky and Shelly Perdue from Texas and John Fenton from Wyoming - were all part of the EPA fracking investigations in their respective states that EPA abandoned despite evidence of water contamination. The petitions were collected by Stop the Frack Attack and Americans Against Fracking and its advisory committee member, actor Mark Ruffalo. The petitions demand that the EPA reopen investigations into fracking-related drinking water contamination in Pennsylvania, Texas and Wyoming and provide residents with safe drinking water in the interim.

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Tagged with: fracking, epa, pavillion, dimock, parker county

New EU law could help stop natural resource trade fuelling conflict

Earthworks, Global Witness, Et al.

September 24, 2013

A coalition of 59 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) is calling on the European Commission to pass a strong law to prevent European businesses fuelling conflict and human rights abuses through their purchases of natural resources, such as tin, gold and diamonds. The call comes ahead of draft legislation due to be published by the Commission by the end of 2013.

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Tagged with: conflict minerals, europe, eu

New Report: Fracking Pollution Sickening Residents in TX, Regulators Walk Away


September 19, 2013

Washington, DC – A new report released today, September 19th, provides an important window into a disturbing national pattern regarding the oversight of fracking-enabled oil and gas development: regulators, charged with protecting the public, are actively avoiding evidence that fracking is harming the public. The report focuses on Karnes County, TX in an attempt to illuminate a growing national pattern of absentee regulators.

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Tagged with: fracking, air pollution, health and toxics, enforcement, eagle ford shale, tceq, regulators

Press Statement of Earthworks Executive Director Jennifer Krill regarding Anglo American’s Withdrawal from the Pebble Mine Proposal


September 16, 2013

Mining corporation Anglo American announced on Monday it has canceled its investment in the Pebble copper-mine project in Bristol Bay, Alaska, dealing a major blow to a proposal to exploit a vast swath of American wilderness that is home to the world’s largest remaining wild salmon fishery.

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Tagged with: mining, gold, bristol bay, alaska, anglo american, pebble mine

Impacted Citizens and Environmental Leaders Speak Out On BLM Fracking Rules

Earthworks et. al.

August 23, 2013

The public comment period closes tomorrow for the Department of Interior Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) second version of its Proposed “Oil and Gas; Hydraulic Fracturing on Federal and Indian Lands” rule.  BLM rules apply to more than 750 million acres of public lands and minerals: underneath Tribal lands, National Forests, Wildlife Refuges and other special places, beneath more than 50 million acres of privately-owned land, and drinking water sources for millions of Americans. These rules affect the health of communities and the environment, and the water and air upon which they rely.

As a result more than 1 million comments have been submitted by people across the country to the Obama Administration, asking him to stop the assault on our public lands and to protect our air, water and communities.

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Tagged with: fracking, public lands, blm

Statement of Earthworks Executive Director Jennifer Krill on today’s introduction of the CLEANER Act


July 26, 2013

July 26, Washington, D.C. -- "Earthworks salutes Congressmen Matt Cartwright and Jared Huffman for introducing the CLEANER (Closing Loopholes and Ending Arbitrary and Needless Evasion of Regulations) Act today. CLEANER would help protect public health by closing an important loophole in federal oversight of the oil and gas industry. Thanks to the nationwide shale boom, now more than ever the oil and gas industry’s special exemption in the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) for its hazardous waste seriously concerns impacted communities.

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Tagged with: fracking, public health, toxics, rcra, cleaner

Wild and Scenic Chetco River Temporarily Protected from Mining: Groups Call for Permanent Protection

Earthworks et. al.

July 26, 2013

Today, the Interior Department announced its approval of a mineral withdrawal for 17 miles of a world-class salmon and steelhead river in southwest Oregon. Authorized by Public Land Order #7819, the mineral withdrawal protects 5,610 acres of National Forest land along the Wild and Scenic Chetco River from mining for five years, while Congress considers permanent protection for the river in the Chetco River Protection Act and the Oregon Treasures Act.

“The Wild and Scenic Chetco River is renowned for its singular beauty, recreational opportunities, and epic salmon and steelhead fishing,” said Barbara Ullian of Friends of the Kalmiopsis. “We’re thrilled by the Interior’s decision to approve the withdrawal and want to thank the Forest Service, the Chetco’s congressional champions and the local, regional and national organizations who supported it.”

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Tagged with: mining, chetco river, oregon, chetco river protection act

Wild and Scenic Illinois River Protected From Mining For Another 20 Years

Earthworks et. al.

July 1, 2013

Groups Call for Action on Rough and Ready Creek and Baldface Creek

On June 27th, the Interior Department approved a 20-year extension for a mineral withdrawal along 14 miles of Oregon’s National Wild and Scenic Illinois River. The measure will protect one of the most popular stretches of river in the state from mining. The existing withdrawal expired on Sunday, June 30th.

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Tagged with: mining, 1872 mining law, withdrawal, illinois river

100 Jewelers Pledge Support for Alaska’s Bristol Bay from Pebble Mine, Earthworks Announces


June 27, 2013

Today, Earthworks announced that over 100 jewelers, representing more than $6 billion in annual sales, have pledged to support protection for Alaska’s Bristol Bay from the proposed Pebble Mine. This is the first time that such a large number of jewelers, including Tiffany & Co., Ben Bridge, Helzberg Diamonds, Birks and Mayors and independent jewelers have taken a position on a specific place or mine.

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Tagged with: mining, bristol bay, bristol bay pledge, jewelers

Fracked shale gas is part of climate change problem, not solution


June 25, 2013

Statement of Earthworks Executive Director Jennifer Krill

Increased natural gas and oil development is part of the climate change problem, not the solution.

President Obama should know this. His own agencies are effectively telling him so.

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Tagged with: fracking, climate change, obama

Grijalva, Markey, Holt Introduce Mining Reform Bill to Increase Transparency, Collect Royalties Following GAO Report on Failures


June 21, 2013

Washington, D.C. – Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva, Ed Markey and Rush Holt yesterday introduced the Abandoned Mine Lands Cleanup and Taxpayer Fairness Act, a bill to modernize U.S. mining law and establish a royalty program to increase taxpayer return on investment. The bill is a response to the findings of a Government Accountability Office report Grijalva and Sen. Tom Udall requested in 2011 and received earlier this year. You can read more about the report at

The bill addresses shortcomings identified by GAO in several key areas. Among other provisions, the bill:

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Tagged with: mining, 1872 mining law, reform, 1872

Pavillion-area citizens, national groups oppose Wyoming’s control of the Pavillion groundwater contamination investigation

Earthworks et. al.

June 21, 2013

Pavillion, WY & Washington, D.C. -- Pavillion-area citizens, landowners and environmental groups today condemned Wyoming Governor Mead’s announcement that the state is assuming control from the EPA of the investigation into groundwater contamination by fracking-enabled oil and gas development near Pavillion, WY.

In the announcement, the Governor congratulated EPA and Encana – the company operating in the Pavillion area – for working with him to “chart a positive course” for the investigation.

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Tagged with: fracking, epa, wyoming, pavillion, water contamination

Statement of Earthworks Policy Director Lauren Pagel

June 13, 2013

Prior to testifying before the Energy and Minerals Subcommittee of the House Natural Resources Committee

“Mining in America: The Administration’s Use of Claim Maintenance Fees and Cleanup of Abandoned Mine Lands”

The House Energy and Minerals Subcommittee of the House Natural Resources Committee is shining a welcome spotlight on the 1872 Mining Law. It’s outrageous that the 1872 Mining Law gives mining companies all the power while taxpayers have none.

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Tagged with: mining, 1872 mining law, grand canyon, subsidies, economics, claim maintenance fee, validity

Experts warn of bursting shale gas bubble: New York legislators briefed on the economics of fracking

Earthworks, et al

May 23, 2013

Albany, New York—With several bills pending in the New York legislature related to natural gas development in the state, elected officials were briefed today on new research revealing its economic limitations.

Hosted by Citizens Campaign for the Environment, Earthworks, Energy Policy Forum, Environmental Advocates of New York, Frack Action, and the Post Carbon Institute, the briefing focused on two groundbreaking reports released this spring. In sum, scientific and financial analyses show that the medium- to long-term benefits of shale fracking may be illusory and more similar to the housing bubble than the economic silver bullet promised by the gas industry. 

The reports, “Drill Baby Drill” by veteran coal and gas geologist David Hughes and “Shale and Wall Street” by financial analyst Deborah Rogers, assess the economic sustainability of the tight oil and shale gas booms that are sweeping America—and could come to New York through fracking in the Marcellus and Utica Shale formations. They comprise a thorough and up-to-date analysis of data on more than 60,000 oil and gas wells and a comprehensive review of the financial status of the companies leading the charge to expand domestic fossil fuel development.

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Tagged with: fracking, economics, deborah rogers, shale bubble, david hughes, post carbon institute, well depletion

Industry controlled Responsible Jewellery Council fails to fulfill promise of preventing conflict diamonds and dirty gold

Earthworks, et al

May 22, 2013

Trade unions and environmental groups team up to expose deep flaws in jewelry certification system

Washington, D.C., Ottawa, Geneva, Sydney, May 22, 2013 – In a new report, More Shine Than Substance: How RJC certification fails to create responsible jewelry, an international coalition of labor and environmental groups indict the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC)’s certification system as misleading jewelry consumers. The RJC holds its annual meeting in Milan on May 23.

“Jewelry is meant to lift our spirits.  But it loses its value if it’s made with gold or diamonds that are tarnished by human rights abuses or environmental destruction,” said Earthworks’ No Dirty Gold campaign director Payal Sampat. She continued, “Unfortunately, RJC’s certification cannot reassure consumers that the gems and precious metals that pass through its system did not come at the cost of community health or clean water.”  

The groups releasing More Shine Than Substance include the trade union federation, IndustriALL, which represents 50 million workers globally, CFMEU Australia, United Steelworkers, and environmental advocacy groups Earthworks and MiningWatch Canada.


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Tagged with: mining, dirty gold, responsible jewellery council, certification, conflict diamonds

Statement of Jennifer Krill, Earthworks' Executive Director, on BLM’s updated draft hydraulic fracturing rule


May 16, 2013

Today the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released new draft rules governing hydraulic fracturing (fracking) on federal public lands and some private lands where the federal government owns the sub-surface mineral rights. With this rulemaking, the BLM and the Obama administration had the opportunity to improve public oversight by incorporating emerging science and the hard-won experience of communities living with oil and gas development across the country.

But they did not.

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Tagged with: fracking, regulation, public lands, blm, obama

Government data shows mines will annually pollute up to 27 billion gallons of fresh water, forever


May 1, 2013

New report shows treatment costs as much as $67 billion/year, with new mines polluting and costing billions more

Washington D.C., May 1st – A new report released today shows existing U.S. hardrock mines (e.g. gold, copper, uranium) will pollute up to 27 billion gallons of fresh water per year, and cost as much as $67 billion per year to clean, in perpetuity. Based on government data, the report also reveals that four proposed mines could annually pollute an additional 16 billion gallons.

“The scale of the problem is enormous, and growing,” said Bonnie Gestring, report author and Earthworks' Northwest Organizer. She continued, “Every year, mines will pollute enough water to fill 2 trillion water bottles -- enough bottles to reach to the moon and back 54 times.”

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Tagged with: mining, water pollution, perpetual pollution

Mining giant Newmont urged to obtain community consent


April 25, 2013

Shareholders, NGOs say company’s flawed community engagement poses risks to reputation and bottom line

April 25th -Washington, DC: At Newmont Mining Co.’s annual general meeting yesterday, faith-based shareholders and DC-based NGO Earthworks urged the company to improve the way it engages with communities, and to provide greater transparency to shareholders and the public. The groups noted that the company’s failure to adequately inform and consult with local communities has resulted in strong community opposition and the suspension of the Conga mine project in northern Peru, costing the company – by its own estimation – hundreds of millions dollars in losses so far.

At the Wilmington, Delaware meeting, the groups urged Newmont to seek the Free, Prior and Informed Consent of local communities in which it operates, to publish reports and updates more frequently, and to conduct human rights impact assessments of its operations.

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Tagged with: no dirty gold, newmont, fpic, conga, agm

Groups Appeal Fracking Chemical Case to Wyoming Supreme Court

Earthworks, Earthjustice, et al

April 17, 2013

Public interest organizations are seeking disclosure of chemicals that are injected underground

Cheyenne, Wyo. — Several public interest and government watchdog groups have appealed to Wyoming’s highest court, asking it to compel the state’s oil and gas permitting agency to disclose the chemicals that are injected underground during the oil and gas production process of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

Represented by the public interest environmental law firm Earthjustice, the Powder River Basin Resource Council, Wyoming Outdoor Council, Earthworks and the Center for Effective Government filed the appeal to the Wyoming Supreme Court today.

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Tagged with: fracking, regulation, wyoming, disclosure, lawsuit

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On Twitter

RT @RisingTideNA: Colorado Judge Strikes Down Longmont’s #Fracking Ban in Favor of ‘State’s Interest’ in Oil & Gas
Bakken drilling & #fracking hazardous waste oversight: so weak, industry employees beg @EPA to step in | @LATimes

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