EARTHWORKS

Media Releases

Walmart's 'Love, Earth' Jewelry is Dirty Gold

January 12, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC, Jan. 12 -- Walmart's Love, Earth jewelry line, marketed as the product of eco-friendly mines and worker-friendly factories, in fact uses gold from polluting mines in the U.S. and Bolivian sweatshops where employees work in brutal and unsafe conditions for a few dollars a day, according to an investigation by a journalist for TIME and ABC News.

The investigation by Jean Friedman-Rudovsky in the Jan. 6 issue of Miami New Times confirms concerns raised by environmental and indigenous peoples' groups since Walmart, the world's largest jewelry retailer, launched the Love, Earth line two years ago.

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Tagged with: mining, gold, no dirty gold, jewelry retailers, golden rules


CLEAN AIR ACT: U.S. Issues First-Ever Limits on Mercury Pollution From Gold Mines

December 17, 2010

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Tagged with: mining, gold, regulation, mercury, clean air act


United States changes position to support UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

December 16, 2010

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 16 -- "EARTHWORKS congratulates President Obama on the decision today to support the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.  This represents a historic moment for Indigenous Peoples and for the United States, and an important step for Indigenous communities threatened by the impacts of mining, and oil and gas drilling.

“The Declaration states that Indigenous Peoples’ free, prior, and informed consent is required if they are to be moved from their lands or to have hazardous materials stored or disposed of on their lands.  Free, prior and informed consent is also required for approval of projects, including mining, oil, and gas projects, that affect their lands.  The Declaration includes the right for Indigenous Peoples to protect their religious and cultural sites and the right to the conservation and protection of the environment.

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Tagged with: indigenous, obama, un


GOV PATERSON SETS NATIONAL PRECEDENT, CALLS FOR A TIMEOUT ON FRACKING

December 11, 2010

(Albany, NY) -- Governor David Paterson today helped protect the health of New Yorkers and their drinking water by issuing an Executive Order that calls for a temporary timeout on high volume hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling for natural gas. In doing so he signaled his understanding that high volume hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, threatens both public health and the environment.

The Executive Order places a timeout on horizontal wells for fracking for natural gas through July 1, 2011. The Executive Order also creates a loophole that oil and gas corporations can exploit according to environmental, good government, community and public health organizations.

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Tagged with: fracking, ogap, public health, drinking water, new york


Groups Applaud New York State Assembly for Passing a *Timeout* on Fracking for Natural Gas

November 30, 2010

(ALBANY, NY) -- Environmental, good government, community and public health organizations applauded the State Assembly today for voting to protect New York's drinking water by passing legislation that will enact a timeout on hydraulic fracturing for natural gas. By passing the bill, A. 11443B, sponsored by Assembly Member Robert Sweeney (D-Lindenhurst), the Assembly demonstrated that it recognizes the potential dangers of the environmentally dangerous practice of hydraulic fracturing, often called "fracking." In states such as Pennsylvania, Colorado and Wyoming gas development using fracking has contaminated drinking and groundwater sources.

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Tagged with: fracking, public health, new york


Statement of EARTHWORKS Executive Director Jennifer Krill in response to the Interior Department's forum on natural gas development on public lands

November 30, 2010

Washington, D.C. -- "We are pleased to see the Secretary of the Interior and the Department take the initiative to modernize our federal oil and gas policy to protect communities and federal resources impacted by gas development. We urge Interior go further to require best management practices for natural gas drilling on public lands.

The federal government has a responsibility to ensure drilling on our public lands occurs responsibly. And disclosure, although necessary, is only the first and most basic step necessary to protect communities and their groundwater from irresponsible drilling.

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Tagged with: oil and gas, public lands, obama, interior department


Indigenous Peoples in Latin America call for an end to destructive mining

November 26, 2010

Lima, Peru -- On Tuesday, Nov 23, Indigenous Peoples from across Latin America released The Lima Declaration , a unified position calling for an end to large-scale surface mining by transnational companies on Indigenous Peoples' lands. Indigenous representatives from the Andes, the Amazon, and Central America drafted the Declaration after a three-day Indigenous Peoples' Forum on Mining, Climate Change, and Well-being. EARTHWORKS, a US-based organization that works to protect communities and the environment from destructive mining impacts, attended the meeting at the invitation of an Indigenous Peoples' coordinating group in Latin America.

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Tagged with: mining, international, indigenous


Native Alaskans Respond to UK Mining Giant's Greenwashing Campaign With Ad in CityAM

November 4, 2010

LONDON, 4 November -- For weeks, Anglo American PLC have been running ads in the Guardian, the Economist and at Heathrow Airport, touting the benefits their mines bring to communities. Alaska Natives from Bristol Bay, where Anglo American proposes to dig the largest open-pit mine in North America, have today replied to this greenwashing by taking out a full page ad in CityAM with a blunt message to the company.

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


50 Leading Jewellers oppose Anglo American's Alaskan Gold Mine

November 2, 2010

LONDON, 2 November -- Fifty jewellers, with more than 3.5 billion ($5.75 billion) in sales, say they won't use gold from Anglo American PLC's proposed Pebble Mine, which threatens the world's most important fishing grounds for wild sockeye salmon in Bristol Bay, Alaska.

The proposed open-pit mine would be the largest in North America and generate an estimated 10 billion tonnes of mine waste, much of it toxic and held on the site forever. If it goes ahead, the mine would destroy salmon spawning habitat in a designated Fishery Reserve, and jeopardize the commercial fishing industry and the livelihoods of the Alaska Native communities in the region. With gold selling at record highs of over $1,300 an ounce, permits applications are expected next year.

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Tagged with: mining, gold, alaska, jewelry retailers, pebble


US Probe Finds Halliburton Lies Contributed to BP Disaster --

October 29, 2010

WASHINGTON, Oct. 29 -- The presidential commission investigating the BP disaster says Halliburton knew before the explosion its drilling cement was faulty but said nothing -- raising grave doubts about whether the company is being honest about the danger of hydraulic fracturing of natural gas wells.

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is Halliburton's patented process for injecting huge volumes of chemical-laced fluid into natural gas wells to force deposits to the surface. In 2005, the drilling services company's lobbying opened the Halliburton Loophole in the Safe Drinking Water Act, exempting fracking from federal regulation.

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Tagged with: drilling, oil spill, halliburton


Red Gold: Inside the effort to protect the world's greatest wild sockeye salmon fishery from gold mining.

October 18, 2010

Bristol Bay, Alaska, October 18 -- Alaskans are bringing award-winning film Red Gold to London.

A delegation of Alaska Natives and commercial fishermen from Bristol Bay, the world's largest remaining wild sockeye salmon fishery, is coming to the UK to bring attention to the threat of London-based mining giant Anglo American's proposed Pebble Mine. If built, it would be the largest open-pit mine in North America, directly upstream from the most valuable wild sockeye runs on Earth. The UK is the largest importer of Bristol Bay wild salmon.

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Tagged with: mining, gold, bristol bay, alaska, international


Records Show Texas Takes No Action on 99% of Barnett Shale Complaints

October 11, 2010

DISH, Texas, Oct. 11 -- State inspectors cited no violations in response to almost 99 percent of citizen complaints about natural gas drilling and hydrofracking operations in the Barnett Shale region in the first seven months of 2010, according to documents obtained through the Texas Public Information Act.

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) records show 256 complaints -- more than one a day -- about odor and health effects from January 1 to July 23 in Tarrant, Denton, Wise and other counties in the Barnett Shale formation. Yet only three violations were found, all at the same site in Wise County.

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Tagged with: fracking, oil and gas, ogap, texas, texas ogap, barnett shale


Catastrophic waste spill in Hungary shows risks of irresponsible metals production

October 5, 2010

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 5 -- The Danube River, the Marcal, and several other European rivers and the communities and ecosystems that rely upon them are at risk following the collapse of a dam holding back millions of tons of toxic metal-processing wastes at a Hungarian alumina plant. The accident has killed 4 people and injured at least 120 others and has covered an area of about 15 square miles with toxic red sludge.

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Tagged with: mining, toxics, international


FRACKING: Wyoming Requires Disclosure of Chemicals in Natural Gas Drilling

September 16, 2010

SHERIDAN, Wyo., Sept. 16 -- Wyoming's new rules requiring natural gas drillers to disclose chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing are the best in the nation but fall short of full transparency, citizen groups said. They urged Congress to pass legislation protecting all Americans' right to know about hazardous drilling compounds that could contaminate water supplies.

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Tagged with: fracking, oil and gas, ogap, disclosure


Feds to Pavillion Residents: Don t Drink the Water and Be Careful Not to Blow Yourselves up

September 1, 2010

Pavillion, WY Last night, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and their sister agency, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) released health and safety recommendations based on the second phase of testing in the Pavillion, WY drinking water investigation. The federal agencies recommended that residents not drink their water or use it for cooking. Additionally, residents were told to take specific precautions to avoid explosions due to methane contamination of drinking water. Precautions should include ventilation when taking showers and avoidance of ignitions in closed rooms where water is running.

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Tagged with: epa, drinking water, wyoming, toxics


Wyoming gas-field residents call for Public Health studies related to oil & gas chemicals and drinking water contamination

August 18, 2010

Pavillion, Wy - EARTHWORKS and Powder River Basin Resource Council today released the results of a community-based health survey conducted in Pavillion, Wyoming. The survey results come after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) identified known oil and gas chemicals in residents' drinking water wells last year as part of a Superfund Investigation. The voluntary health survey was conducted by Wilma Subra on behalf of the groups. Ms. Subra is a chemist and MacArthur Genius award winner renown for her work with communities impacted by industrial contamination.

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Tagged with: oil and gas, public health, drinking water, wyoming


EARTHWORKS applauds passage of key oil and gas reforms

July 30, 2010

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 30 -- ""Today the U.S. Congress takes is taking an important step towards establishing some protections for communities facing oil and gas production in their backyard. The House voted 209 to 193 to pass the CLEAR Act, which will establish important reforms in both offshore and onshore oil and gas extraction to protect communities, our water and our air from damage caused by the reckless development of energy resources.

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Tagged with: fracking, oil and gas, ogap, congress, clear act


Statement of Jennifer Krill, EARTHWORKS Executive Director, in response to introduction of Senate "Clean Energy Jobs and Oil Spill Accountability Plan"

July 27, 2010

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 27 -- "EARTHWORKS is stunned to see the one-sided nature of the Senate energy proposal, released today, which increases incentives for natural gas production without addressing the impacts of natural gas on communities and water supplies across the country.

The natural gas industry is exempt from numerous environmental standards, putting our Nation at risk of leaks and spills that threaten people and their livelihoods.

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Tagged with: oil and gas, congress


New legislation to bring greater accountability for extractive industries

July 16, 2010

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 16 -- EARTHWORKS commends the supporters of a landmark Senate bill that passed yesterday with provisions that aim to break the connection of drilling and mining with corruption and conflict. Under the amendment included in the Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Act (Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act), companies will need to report to the Securities and Exchange Commission payments that they make to governments. This greater transparency should help prevent mining, oil, and gas companies from making arrangements with governments that represent bad deals for the public wherever those companies are operating.

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Tagged with: international, congress, conflict minerals, congo, frank dodd


EARTHWORKS applauds passage of plan to address reforms needed in the oil and gas industry

July 15, 2010

Washington D.C.,-- EARTHWORKS applauds Chairman Rahall courage and leadership to address the broad range of reforms needed for America's oil and gas industry. As we have seen from the oil disaster in the Gulf, we can no long rely on a trust us mentality from the oil and gas companies. The CLEAR Act adopted today by the House Natural Resources Committee will establish important reforms in both offshore and onshore oil and gas extraction to protect communities, our water and our wildlife from damage caused by the reckless development of energy resources. We encourage the House to take swift action on these reforms by passing the CLEAR Act.

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Tagged with: fracking, oil and gas, ogap, clear act, reform


World Bank approves destructive mining project in Indonesia

July 14, 2010

Jakarta and Washington, D.C., 14 July -- An international civil society coalition today condemned the World Bank for approving support for a destructive nickel mine that would displace Indigenous Peoples, destroy vast areas of intact tropical forest, and threaten rivers and the ocean with sediment and toxic chemicals. The Board of Directors of the World Bank Group yesterday approved a guarantee by the Bank's Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) for the Weda Bay Nickel mine. Of the 23 Executive Directors of the World Bank, only the US Director abstained from the vote. Indonesian-based WALHI and DC-based EARTHWORKS and Bank Information Center joined JATAM, KIARA, KAU and other Indonesian groups today in declaring that the approval of a $207 million guarantee application for a risky and damaging nickel and cobalt mine demonstrates the fundamental flaws of the World Bank's procedures, polices, and practices on extractive industry.

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Tagged with: mining, international, indonesia, nickel


Independent review points to Weda Bay Nickel plans as cause for major concern

July 12, 2010

Jakarta and Washington, D.C., 12 July -- Groups from around the world today called on the World Bank's Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) to deny support for a controversial nickel mine planned for the island of Halmahera in Indonesia. The groups revealed the results of an independent expert's review of the Weda Bay Nickel mining project documents to debunk the project's claims of little negative impact. The review by Dr. Robert Moran, an independent water quality, geochemical and hydrogeological scientist, pointed to significant inadequacies and deficiencies in company documents and highlighted dangerous impacts including extensive water pollution risks. A separate report also noted that the project would destroy the forest habitat of endangered species in an area that was once proposed as a National Park.

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Tagged with: mining, nickel, miga


EARTHWORKS Celebrates Effort to Close Clean Water Act Loophole

July 1, 2010

Washington D.C., 7/1-- EARTHWORKS joined 17 other organizations from across the country in support of an effort by Representative Mike Arcuri (NY) to close one of the loopholes in environmental laws for oil and gas companies. Representative Arcuri offered an amendment to the Oil Spill Accountability and Environmental Protection Act of 2010, which was approved today by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. The amendment eliminates the ability of oil and gas operators to circumvent the Clean Water Act's stormwater permitting provisions during construction of oil and gas wells.

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Tagged with: fracking, oil and gas, ogap, congress, clean water act, loopholes


Wyoming communities worry that state drilling oversight is another MMS/gulf spill in the making

June 28, 2010

Wyoming, 6/28 With the Gulf oil spill disaster continuing to play out, Wyoming landowners and community groups are equating the behavior of BP and federal regulators that led to the disaster to the behavior of industry and regulators in Wyoming. Landowners insist that whether it is drinking water contamination in Pavillion, inadequate response to blowouts in Clark, or oil spills in Deaver, state officials' relationship to industry devalues landowners' property and puts human health at risk.

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Tagged with: oil and gas, drilling, regulation, wyoming


CORRECTED HEADLINE: Coalition forms to address risks of Marcellus shale gas drilling in New York

June 22, 2010

June 22. On June 19, nearly 140 individuals and representatives from 60 grassroots, regional, and national organizations in four states gathered in Binghamton to share information on legal, scientific, economic, policy, health, and family issues related to hydraulic fracturing for methane gas, or "fracking."

Participants in the Coalition to Protect New York are unified by knowledge of the extensive evidence that gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing with toxic chemicals harm water supplies, property values, community infrastructure, the environment, and human health.

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Tagged with: fracking, epa, oil and gas, ogap, marcellus shale, frac act, new york


Statement of Jennifer Krill, EARTHWORKS Executive Director, on the Gulf oil spill and protecting America's waters from further pollution

June 4, 2010

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 4 -- "As BP's oil slick grows in the Gulf of Mexico, it's time to take action to protect all of America's waters -- offshore and onshore -- from future catastrophe.

"President Obama must permanently ban new offshore drilling to take our coastal communities, economies and the environment out of harm's way. Now is the time for Obama to lead us to a new energy economy by ending our dangerous dependence on oil, and implementing a transition to fossil-fuel free technology to meet our energy and transportation needs.

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Tagged with: oil and gas, oil spill, offshore


Coalition calls on New York state legislature to enact moratorium on natural gas development

May 25, 2010

Albany, May 25, 2010 -- Yesterday representatives of more than 20 local and regional organizations called on members of the New York State Assembly and Senate to enact an immediate moratorium on high-volume hydraulic fracturing (HVHF, or hydrofracking), the technology required to extract natural gas from the Marcellus Shale. They were joined by State Assemblyman Steve Englebright (District 4), who together with Senator Joseph P. Addabbo (District 15) has introduced moratorium legislation supported by the coalition (bills A10490 and S7592).

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Tagged with: fracking, oil and gas, ogap, new york, moratorium


Climate bill ignores nuclear power's hidden costs on communities and the environment

May 14, 2010

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 14 -- This week, Senators Kerry and Lieberman moved the debate forward on ways to meet our Nation's energy needs and address the global problem of climate change. Regrettably, the proposal includes new incentives for nuclear power and erodes safeguards for development of nuclear energy. The impact on communities across the Rocky Mountain region will be immediate and potentially destructive.

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Tagged with: mining, congress, uranium, nuclear power


EARTHWORKS' Texas Oil & Gas Accountability Project hosts pre-HBO Forth Worth premiere of GASLAND

May 10, 2010

Fort Worth -- On May 12th, 2010, the Texas Oil & Gas Accountability Project (OGAP) of EARTHWORKS will host a special Fort Worth screening of Josh Fox's award-winning documentary GASLAND at an exclusive engagement at the Museum of Modern Art of Forth Worth prior to its June 21st HBO broadcast premiere. The event is co-hosted by community members who, along with Mr. Fox, Texas State Representative Lon Burnam, and Oil & Gas Accountability Program Director Gwen Lachelt will be on hand to answer questions and offer advice to audience members who are confronting natural gas drilling in their communities.

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Tagged with: oil and gas, ogap, texas, texas ogap, gasland


Uranium-Impacted Communities Urge Washington to Consider the Human Impacts of Nuclear Power

May 7, 2010

Washington, D.C. -- As the Nation debates our energy future and the role of nuclear power in meeting our energy needs, uranium experts and people from communities impacted by uranium are arriving in Washington DC on May 10th to educate Members of Congress and the Obama Administration about the impact of uranium development on their communities.  Citizens from Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming are telling our government that we cannot ignore the adverse effect that nuclear power as a fuel source has on public health, water supplies and the environment in areas where uranium is extracted. 

Currently, uranium mining is governed by a patchwork of federal and state laws, including partial regulation under the 1872 Mining Law, an archaic statute that considers mining to be the highest and best use of the federal land.  In these modern times, demands for nuclear fuel need to be balanced with other values from our federal lands, and reforms in our Nation’s mineral policy are long overdue.

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Tagged with: mining, public health, 1872 mining law, congress, grand canyon, uranium, nuclear power


Four more jewelers sign on to provide responsible jewelry

May 6, 2010

Washington, D.C, 6 May 2010 -- Four jewelry companies today announced their concern over destructive gold mining, and their support for cleaner sources of gold and precious metals. Just in time for Mother's Day, Robbins Brothers, Meghan Connolly Haupt, D.NEA, and Bario Neal have joined the nation's leading jewelry companies in signing the No Dirty Gold campaign's Golden Rules for responsible sourcing of precious metals.

The list of Golden Rules signatories now includes 70 jewelry companies representing over $14 billion in annual US jewelry sales, or nearly a quarter of total U.S. jewelry sales.

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Tagged with: gold, no dirty gold, jewelry retailers, golden rules


Natural Gas Drilling Toxics Exceed State Standards

May 4, 2010

DISH, TX, 5/4 -- Final results released today indicate that the gas drilling industry is polluting the air of the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan region with toxic emissions in excess of state limits. A team of environmental scientists who conducted independent air quality tests in March 2010 released the results. Preliminary results released immediately after the March tests, now corroborated, showed alarming levels of toxic chemical and greenhouse gas emissions that threaten human health and the environment.

"These definitive results not only show extreme methane emissions from gas well sites but also startling levels of chemicals that pose public health risks," said Wilma Subra, EARTHWORKS board member, environmental scientist and MacArthur "Genius" Grant recipient.

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Tagged with: fracking, oil and gas, ogap, toxics, texas ogap


EARTHWORKS announces Nadia Steinzor as Marcellus Regional Organizer

April 14, 2010

Durango, CO, April 14th --"We are very pleased to welcome Nadia Steinzor to our staff team, said Gwen Lachelt, Director of EARTHWORKS Oil & Gas Accountability Project. Beginning April 14, Ms. Steinzor will lead the organization's campaign work in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and Maryland. "The Marcellus Regional Organizer position represents a milestone for us and we are honored to be adding our voice and expertise to the great effort to reform gas drilling practices in the eastern United States, Lachelt stated.

Nadia Steinzor has worked for over 15 years in communications, writing and editing, and research on environmental and social issues. She has experience as a consultant for progressive non-profit organizations and has held positions at Zero Population Growth, the International Center for Research on Women, and most recently as Director of Communications at the Mohonk Preserve.

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Jewelry Retail Giant Zale Corp. Pledges to Protect Alaska's Bristol Bay

April 13, 2010

Anchorage, Alaska -- A wave of new jewelry retailers, including the nation's 2nd largest jewelry retailer, Zale Corporation (NYSE: ZLC), pledged support today for permanently protecting Alaska's Bristol Bay watershed from large-scale metal mining, including the controversial proposed Pebble Mine proposed by Canadian company Northern Dynasty and UK-based Anglo American.

"The 1,850 Bristol Bay commercial fishing permit holders that we represent want to thank the jewelers who have vowed not to buy gold from the Pebble Mine," said Bob Waldrop, Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association. This landslide of new jeweler support is a tremendous boost to our efforts to protect this irreplaceable fishery."

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Tagged with: no dirty gold, bristol bay, alaska, jewelry retailers


Jewelry giant Zales, 12 others, pledge to protect Bristol Bay

April 13, 2010

Anchorage, Alaska -- A wave of new jewelry retailers, including the nation's 2nd largest jewelry retailer, Zale Corporation (NYSE: ZLC), pledged support today for permanently protecting Alaska's Bristol Bay watershed from large-scale metal mining, including the controversial proposed Pebble Mine.

"The 1,850 Bristol Bay commercial fishing permit holders that we represent want to thank the jewelers who have vowed not to buy gold from the Pebble Mine," said Bob Waldrop, Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association. This landslide of new jeweler support is a tremendous boost to our efforts to protect this irreplaceable fishery."

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Tagged with: no dirty gold, bristol bay, alaska, jewelry retailers


EPA launches study of hydraulic fracturing threats to drinking water

April 8, 2010

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 8th -- Yesterday, EARTHWORKS provided comments to the EPA's Science Advisory Board charged with studying the public health and drinking water impacts of hydraulic fracturing (commonly known as "fracking"). Highlights of EARTHWORKS' recommendations included:

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Tagged with: fracking, epa, oil and gas, ogap


No Fooling: Obama's gifts to extractive industries continue with defense of Bush mining policy

April 1, 2010

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 1st, 2010 -- In addition to opening up vast areas of our coastline to offshore oil drilling, the Obama administration yesterday elected to defend a Bush-era policy that allows unlimited amounts of our nation's treasured public lands to be used as toxic waste dumps for the multinational hardrock mining industry. This decision -- in the form of a response to federal litigation filed by a coalition of conservation and Native American groups -- is completely inconsistent with earlier remarks by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar on the importance of updating our federal mineral policies to protect public lands.

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Tagged with: mining, oil and gas, public lands, obama, waste, offshore


'Stealth' Measurements of Air Quality Contradict Shale Gas Industry Claims of Safe Air

March 4, 2010

DISH, TX, 3/4 Yesterday a team of environmental scientists presented findings from a novel two day emissions gas detection project showing methane levels as much as 20 times above normal background levels in the air around several counties in the greater Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.

"These findings raise troubling questions about shale gas industry pollution not only in Texas but for states nationwide where shale gas drilling and production is planned or underway," said Wilma Subra, EARTHWORKS board member, environmental chemist and MacArthur grant recipient.

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Tagged with: fracking, texas, texas ogap, barnett shale, shale gas, methane


A New Watchdog for Texas' Shale Gas Drilling Industry

February 24, 2010

Fort Worth, 2/23 -- Today EARTHWORKS formally launched the Texas Oil & Gas Accountability Project (OGAP), a new citizens' group that will work to ensure that Texas' burgeoning Barnett shale gas industry operates while respecting the environment and the rights of its neighbors. Simultaneously, the new watchdog group released its best practices platform: DRILL-RIGHT TEXAS: Best Oil & Gas Development Practices for Texas.

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Tagged with: fracking, oil and gas, texas, texas ogap, barnett shale, drill right texas


New Group to Watchdog Texas Drilling Industry

February 19, 2010

EARTHWORKS will formally launch its Texas Oil & Gas Accountability Project (OGAP) via telephone conference on Wednesday, February 24 at 1:00 p.m. Central Standard Time. At the launch, Texas OGAP will release its campaign platform, DRILL-RIGHT TEXAS: Best Oil & Gas Development Practices for Texas. We will also introduce the lead Texas OGAP Organizer, Sharon Wilson, along with other key experts on the impacts of oil and gas development on health, communities and the environment. The new EARTHWORKS campaign will work throughout Texas to prevent and minimize the impacts caused by energy development.

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Tagged with: oil and gas, texas, texas ogap, drill right texas


Leading Jewelry Retailers Act on Pledge To Shun Dirty Gold

February 10, 2010

Washington D.C.-- Dozens of the nation's leading jewelry retailers are taking innovative steps to provide consumers with gold jewelry made in a more environmentally and socially responsible way, according to a report released today by the Washington, DC-based environmental group EARTHWORKS.

The report, Tarnished Gold: Assessing the Jewelry Industry's Progress on Ethical Sourcing of Metals, evaluates progress jewelers have made in pursuit of cleaner sources of precious metals -- and finds signs of hope as well as shortfalls.

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Tagged with: mining, gold, no dirty gold, jewelry retailers, golden rules


Denver-based Newmont Mining Co. fined millions for cyanide spill at Ghanaian mine

January 21, 2010

Accra and Washington, 01/21: Ghanaian authorities are fining Denver-based Newmont Mining millions of dollars for negligently spilling cyanide at its Ahafo gold mine in October 2009, resulting in water contamination and fish kills. A Ghanaian Ministerial Panel that evaluated the spill and its aftermath recommended that the company be fined US$ 4.9 million for failing to prevent the spill or to properly report on and investigate the spill.

For the past three months, community members and Wassa Association of Communities Affected by Mining (WACAM) have raised concerns about the accident and its aftermath. “The incident brings home the fact that Ghana needs very strong laws to regulate mining operations,” said Daniel Owusu-Koranteng.

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Tagged with: mining, gold, newmont, international, cyanide, spill


EARTHWORKS announces Jennifer Krill as new Executive Director

January 13, 2010

Washington D.C., January 13th-- "EARTHWORKS is very pleased to welcome Jennifer Krill as its new Executive Director. Starting February 1st, Ms. Krill will lead EARTHWORKS in its third decade of achievement as the only national environmental advocacy organization focused exclusively on the environmental and social issues surrounding mineral extraction.

"I am thrilled to join EARTHWORKS and proud to lend my voice to the movement to protect people and the environment from the destructive impacts of mineral, oil and gas extraction," said Ms. Krill. "EARTHWORKS is a nimble, effective organization with a proven track record of success through its tough stands against irresponsible actors in extractive industries, its strong commitment to protecting communities and its innovative partnerships with market leaders."

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Mining and jewelry industry self-certification system falls short, groups say

Earthworks

December 21, 2009

London, Washington, DC, Elko, Ottawa and Melbourne, December 21, 2009: As the jewelry and mining industry trade association, the Responsible Jewelry Council, launched its certification scheme this week, NGOs, technical experts and community representatives cautioned about the limits and shortcomings of the industry-run system.

"Given the considerable impacts of gold mining and consumer concerns about 'dirty' gold, there is clearly a need for independent, third-party monitoring of the gold supply chain," said Payal Sampat of Washington, DC-based EARTHWORKS and the No Dirty Gold campaign. "Unfortunately, the RJC is a process led and governed entirely by the very industries that are to be monitored, and does not meet this need."

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Tagged with: mining, international, jewelry retailers


Texas state government responds to results of DISH health survey

December 18, 2009

DISH, Texas, 12/18 -- In response to recently revealed health impacts in the DISH area, today, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) acknowledged the need for new protections for citizens living in and around the Barnett Shale gas deposit. TCEQ stated it is now issuing an important change in odor response procedures. New policies will require TCEQ to respond to odor complaints on the same day as the complaint, or within 12-hours from receiving a complaint. The new procedure will enable citizens to document both odor and health symptom information by affidavit. These changes represent an important step-forward for the local governments and citizens working to mitigate irresponsible shale gas drilling.

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Tagged with: fracking, oil and gas, drilling, public health, texas, barnett shale, tceq, odor


Community Health Survey Shows Shale Gas Threatens Human Health

December 16, 2009

DISH, Texas, 12/17 -- Today, public interest groups and the Town of DISH released the final results of a health survey of area residents focused on the impacts of Barnett Shale gas infrastructure. The results show that more than half of surveyed maladies can be attributed to toxics first revealed in September in a DISH-commissioned study of area air quality. Based on the results, EARTHWORKS, the Texas Oil & Gas Accountability Project and the Town of DISH are calling on state regulators to immediately perform an in-depth health investigation, implement continuous 24-hour emissions monitoring, and establish a same-day community odor and symptom tracking system.

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Tagged with: fracking, oil and gas, public health, texas, texas ogap


$140 billion giveaway? Senate Committee to Vote on Arizona Land Exchange

December 15, 2009

Washington,DC -- On Wednesday December 16th, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee is scheduled to mark up S. 409, the Southeast Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act of 2009. The current version of the legislation, as well as an amended version of the legislation being presented as a substitute, would fleece the American taxpayer out of billions of dollars.

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Tagged with: mining, mining reform, rio tinto, arizona, bhp billiton, legislature, senate, tax payers


ASARCO Bankruptcy Shows Need for 1872 Mining Law Reform: Updated Mining Law Will Prevent Future Bankruptcies

December 11, 2009

Washington D.C., December 11-- Yesterday, the mining company ASARCO, a subsidiary of the Mexican corporation Grupo Mexico S.A. de C.V, paid the United States government $1.79 billion to help clean up hazardous waste pollution at ASARCO-owned mines and smelters in 19 states. This payment, the nation's largest environmental bankruptcy settlement, highlights the pressing need to reform the antiquated 1872 Mining Law, the law that governed many of ASARCO's mining properties.

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Tagged with: mining, 1872 mining law, abandoned mines, bankruptcy, hazardous waste


Sears/Kmart join other jewelers in pledging to avoid *dirty* gold

November 18, 2009

Washington, D.C, 11/18 -- Three major jewelry retailers today announced their decision to shun irresponsible gold mining and seek cleaner sources of gold and precious metals.  Sears Holdings (parent company of Sears and Kmart), Ultra Stores, and Blue Nile all signed the No Dirty Gold campaign's Golden Rules for responsible sourcing of precious metals, bringing the total number of jewelry retail signatories up to 60. These jewelry retailers include 7 of the top 10 jewelry retail firms in the United States, and represent over $14 billion in annual US jewelry sales, or nearly a quarter of total sales.

"The No Dirty Gold campaign is a great initiative that pushes for sustainability and ethnical sourcing on gold. We are proud to be a part of it and to offer our customers gold that was obtained in a responsible manner", said Michelle Pearlman, Senior Vice President and President of Jewelry at Sears Holdings. "Sears strives to be a green company and we will continue to work to build lifetime relationships with our customers starting from the mines up."

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Tagged with: gold, no dirty gold, jewelry retailers, golden rules


Chesapeake Energy Concedes...

November 2, 2009

Durango, CO -- "Last week, Chesapeake Energy Corporation stated that it will not drill for natural gas within the New York City watershed, a small area within the Marcellus Shale natural gas reserve which underlies some of the Appalachian regions of New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland and West Virginia. The watershed, which supplies untreated, clean water to nine million people, is under increasing pressure to drill.

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Tagged with: fracking, oil and gas, ogap, natural gas, marcellus shale, chesapeake


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