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A Welcome Fracking Earthquake, for a Change

By Bruce Baizel

December 16, 2011

If you felt the earth tremble beneath your feet this past week, it may not have been because of an earthquake caused by a nearby injection well, or a shale gas well being fracked on your neighbor’s property.

It was more likely because of two things, one good and one bad.

First, the bad news:  the EPA confirmed that the presence of contamination in water wells near Pavillion, Wyoming could be due to hydraulic fracturing.

Second, the good news:  two states – Texas and Colorado - approved chemical disclosure rules for hydraulic fracturing chemicals on the same day.

The larger victory here:  the Colorado rule for the first time elevates the community right to know principle (disclosure) above the narrow economic principle of protecting corporate property.

The door has now been opened for other states and the U.S. Department of Interior to step through.  Maybe a federal standard on disclosure would be a good next step.

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Macy’s passes the buck on responsibility

By Nick Magel

December 14, 2011

The past two weeks Earthworks and Change.org members have sent over 14,000 petitions to Macy's calling for them to sign the "Golden Rules". Macy's remained silent.

This past week people concerned with Macy’s inaction to help curb irresponsible gold mining took over Macy’s Facebook page. Over 200 people flooded the Facebook page asking Macy’s to take a stand against irresponsible metal mining, join the over 80 other jewelry retailers, and sign the “Golden Rules”. For the first few days, Macy’s seemed to be ignoring people’s questions and concerns.

Today, Macy’s has posted a reply on its Facebook page. The response lays out precisely why we need Macy’s, as a major jewelry retailer, to sign on to the “Golden Rules”

 

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Colorado and Texas act to require disclosure of drilling chemicals

By Gwen Lachelt

December 14, 2011

Yesterday, the states of Colorado and Texas approved strengthened regulations requiring the disclosure of chemicals used in the hydraulic fracturing of wells drilled to extract oil or gas.

These two new rules are good steps towards better public protection from hazardous fracking chemicals. Both of these rules were improved over previous versions thanks to public pressure -- especially in the case of Colorado.

But they are just steps, as we still need to address all the toxic chemicals connected to natural gas development. And that can only be achieved by plugging federal loopholes through the FRAC and BREATHE Acts.

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“Occupy” Macy’s Facebook page and urge them to say no to dirty gold!

By Nick Magel

December 12, 2011

Today people are occupying Macy's Facebook page to tell them it's time to sign on to the "Golden Rules"!

Do you think Macy's customers want their gold jewelry:
mined by children's hands,
poisoning communities' drinking water,
or violating human rights?

We think they don't.
But dirty gold does all these things. That's why we created the Golden Rules of Responsible Metals Sourcing: to enlist jewelry retailers – who account for more than 80% of the world's gold mine production – to pressure the mining industry to eliminate dirty gold.

Unfortunately, Macy's – unlike eight of the other top 10 gold retailers in the U.S. – has refused to commit to the Golden Rules. That's why over ten thousand people emailed Macy's last week demanding they help clean up dirty gold. Now the message is spreading to Facebook. People are flooding Macy's Facebook page to tell them to sign on to the Golden Rules. We want to keep the pressure on!

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Particulate Matter Pollution Exists. Farm Dust Exists. Pixie Dust is a Fantasy. And EPA is Still Not Regulating Them.

By Aaron Mintzes

December 8, 2011

Despite a promised Presidential veto, the House of Representatives voted today to pass HR 1633, the “Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act of 2011”.  While pollution from PM poses serious public health risks, there is no such thing as farm dust for purposes of the Clean Air Act.  Nor is there such thing as farm dust for the purposes of HR 1633; the only place those words appear in the bill is in the title.  Farm dust seems like nothing more than tiny harmless grains of common dirt.  Since the movement toward new regulations for either dirt or PM is just fantasy, Democrats have mocked this bill as preventing regulation of pixie dust. HR 1633 instead talks about “nuisance dust”. 

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