November 3, 2011
Today, I attended a hearing of the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands. The subcommittee was considering four bills. Three of them had to do with establishing national monuments.
The fourth (HR 3155), ironically, had to do with opening up one million acres of lands surrounding the Grand Canyon to uranium mining. Obviously, EARTHWORKS opposes mining around the Grand Canyon and we encourage you to join us.
November 1, 2011
Over the weekend, I blogged on efforts in the Pennsylvania Senate to make a devil's bargain through a bill that would establish an impact fee on gas drillers--but greatly restrict the rights of municipalities to take measures (like zoning) to protect communities from the damage caused by drilling. Thanks to widespread push-back, including from the PA Campaign for Clean Water, the Senate has postponed the vote.
But today, the House declared its own willingness to sell the souls of Pennsylvania's communties for some quick revenue--introducing a bill that would strip local governments of any say over any aspect of drilling.
By Nick Magel
October 31, 2011
Costco has tried to avoid any controversy when it comes to their gold products, but their customers won't let them. They refused to answer the over 1000 customer posts on their Facebook page. Then, when customers called the company directly, Costco failed to return a single call. Costco executives turned off their phones and sent customers directly to voicemails.
Costco is making two things clear: they do not feel accountable to their customers (many who make up the over 25,000 calling on Costco), and they are not moved by the thought of human rights abuses, environmental destruction, and unfair labor being associated with the gold they sell to you at their stores.
By Lauren Pagel
October 31, 2011
Last week, the House passed HR 1904, the Southeastern Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act, by a vote of 235 to 186. The bill 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the company, called Resolution Copper, is pushing for legislation to privatize the Oak Flat Campground, which has been withdrawn from mining since the 1950’s, and surrounding public lands in the Tonto National Forest.
October 29, 2011
It’s often said that getting anything done in government requires compromise. But in their continued give-and-take over Senate Bill 1100, Pennsylvania legislators are poised to go too far and sell out communities.
Amendments were made to the bill this week that could result in some much-needed improvements to the state's outdated Oil and Gas Act, but it still rests on a faulty and unjust premise: forcing cash-strapped municipalities to give up their zoning rights in exchange for revenues from an “impact fee” charged to gas drillers. And linking these two issues now makes any legislator who wants to improve protections from damaging drilling party to the gutting of local control.