In his first budget since last year’s devastating Gold King Mine spill, President Obama proposes to help prevent future toxic mine spills by requiring the hardrock mining (e.g. copper, gold) industry to fund the cleanup of its old mines, just like the coal mining industry has for nearly two generations.
Yesterday, the President delivered to Congress his FY 2016 budget. In the Federal Government, Congress controls the purse strings of our budget process. However, President Obama does get a crack at making the case for what is important to him. And there is no better way to know any politician’s priorities than following where our money goes and who pays for it to get there.
If you really want to know the priorities our elected officials have, look how they spend money. Last week, Congress passed the Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Bill to fund the Federal Government through September 30- the end of the fiscal year. Now, appropriators can fund the programs and agencies that help protect our communities and precious resources. A welcome improvement I think, since not too long ago, Congress shutdown the government and raised the specter of a debt default.
Dear Mr President -
Congratulations on your reelection.
Now that the fluff and the fury of the campaign is past, it’s time to buckle down and make the real decisions that are going to determine whether our country moves forward to a more sustainable future. Don’t despair though, Mr. President. We are here to help.
Sustainability -- making decisions today that leave us as at least as well off tomorrow -- is inextricably intertwined with how we use (or don’t use) our natural resources. And that means energy, and mining. I’ll cover mining today, and energy tomorrow.
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.
Lately, those of us who are news and political junkies have been preoccupied with the debate in Washington, D.C. over raising the debt ceiling.
After all the hue and cry, legislators agreed to raise the debt ceiling in exchange for the creation of a super committee that is tasked with reviewing mandatory and discretionary spending as well as potential revenue sources with an eye toward solving our long term debt and deficit problems.
To this end, our friends at Taxpayers for Common Sense, the Heartland Institute, Friends of the Earth, and Public Citizen today issued their annual Green Scissors report. Turns out, marrying environmental sustainability and fiscal responsibility is remarkably easy.
I just joined Earthworks a couple weeks ago and I was blown away with all the hand outs, subsidies, tax expenditures, tax breaks, federal loan guarantees, and other mechanisms funded by the public to support polluting industries. Among the worst offenders is the 1872 Mining Law that allows extraction companies to mine our precious metals on public lands for free.