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President Obama Drops FY 2013 Budget

By Aaron Mintzes

February 14, 2012

Yesterday, President Obama released his proposed FY 2013 budget.  Once again Earthworks would like to thank the President for continuing to take on the hardrock mining industry from receiving a free ride on taxpayers while continuing to evade paying for over $50 billion in pollution from unreclaimed mine sites. 

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Tagged with: hardrock mining, aml fee, budget


Macy’s told to dump dirty gold this Valentine’s Day

By Nick Magel

February 13, 2012

Today, activists from the No Dirty Gold campaign left Macy’s a message at its downtown Washington D.C. storefront.  The activists decorated the Macy’s front entrance with a giant balloon banner reading: “Macy’s, Don’t Break our Hearts. Dump Dirty Gold!” - referring to Macy’s failure to sign on to the No Dirty Gold campaign’s “Golden Rules” for responsible metals’ sourcing.

The activists showed up at Macy’s the day before Valentine’s Day to let shoppers know that Macy’s has thus far taken no action to help rid the jewelry industry of dirty gold: gold that may have been produced at the cost of human rights abuses, labor violations, and environmental destruction, among others.

Valentine’s Day is one of Macy’s busiest shopping seasons in the year, with the jewelry departments full of shoppers looking to buy gold jewelry for their special someone. Some of these prospective shoppers in Washington DC were greeted today by the large banner, held by over 3 dozen helium balloons, floating over the store’s main entrance informing shoppers about Macy’s dirty secret.

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Tagged with: gold, no dirty gold, dirty gold, golden rules, macys, action


Sacred site in Arizona still threatened by land exchange, copper mine

By Lauren Pagel

February 10, 2012

Yesterday, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee held a hearing on legislation that would transfer 2,400+ acres of land to foreign mining companies to facilitate a huge copper mine in Arizona. If built, the mine would take a campground and sites sacred to area tribes out of public hands and turn it over foreign-owned mining companies.

A subsidiary of Rio Tinto and BHP - Billiton is proposing to mine a rich copper vein on public and private lands east of Superior, Arizona. Because the proposed mine would most likely destroy the area in question, the company, called Resolution Copper, is pushing for legislation to privatize the Oak Flat Campground, which has been withdrawn from mining since the 1950’s, and surrounding public lands in the Tonto National Forest.

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Tagged with: oak flat, rio tinto, apache leap, arizona, bhp billiton, land exchange


Another big fat nothing for New Mexico

By Gwen Lachelt

February 10, 2012

The oil and gas industry's amazing power of persuasion resulted in Representative Antonio "Moe" Maestas voting in favor of tabling House Bill 187 - "Disclose Fracturing Fluid Composition" - "in order to give the new state disclosure rule a chance to work."

A chance to work?

Remember that rule? The rule that Governor Martinez's Oil Conservation Commission voted to put in place that requires nothing more than what companies are already required to disclose on Material Safety Data Sheets?

These requirements are supposedly in place to protect industry workers who handle toxic fracking chemicals and additives. Problem is, companies are only required  to disclose about HALF of the chemicals they actually use in fracking operations.

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Tagged with: new mexico, regulations, disclosure, hb 187, industry influence


Fish deformities linked to selenium from mining operation on Wyoming, Idaho border

By Bonnie Gestring

February 9, 2012

A research team hired by the J.R. Simplot Co. has linked selenium discharged from the company's phosphate mine near the Wyoming border to high rates of deformities in trout, including cases of brown trout fry with two heads, missing fins and cranial deformities. 

Yes, you read that right. 

And, still these phosphate mines are not required to report their releases to the EPA's Toxic Release Inventory - a publicly available database so communities can have information on the amount of pollution released in and near their homes.

And, what's worse, the company is asking for an exemption from water quality standards for two selenium polluted streams near Simplots Smoky Canyon Mine in Idaho.

The "phosphate patch" in this region is notorious for the number of livestock deaths associated with selenium pollution.

For more information, read this great piece.  And, to read our comments to the EPA to require phosphate mines to report its toxic discharges to the TRI, read here.

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Tagged with: epa, phosphate mining, idaho, selenium, simplot, toxicity


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