CommunityFDL Main Blog

Mining The Earth: 14 Oct 2014

Mining The Earth:

*USA.  Use of sand for fracking may be all the rage right now, but concerns about “the health impacts of breathing silica dust” are mounting, too.  One sand miner’s stock increased 400% over the past year and a half, and another is adding 3.8 million tons “of frac sand mine and plant capacity in Wisconsin and Missouri.”  But health experts and local governments are increasingly very concerned about the major effects of sand mining on health.

*AK.  Alaskans will be voting on Ballot Measure 4 in November, which is aimed at protecting salmon and includes requiring the state legislature to have the “final say on any large oil, gas and mining projects in the 36,000 square miles of the Bristol Bay Fisheries Reserve.”  In other words, it includes an additional step aimed at protecting Bristol Bay from a proposed gold, copper and molybdenum mine.    More here.

*KY.  Sen. Mitch McConnell (R) and his challenger, Allison Grimes (D), are trying to outdo each other in promises to protect the coal industry “and fight the Environmental Protect[ion] Agency’s attempts to regulate its carbon emissions.”  Do they know coal accounts for .06% of jobs in KY?

*NV.  On November 4th, voters will have the opportunity to “remove mining’s unique, 150-year-old tax protections from the state constitution and allow the Legislature to update the mining tax system to reflect modern times.”  It’s Question 2, which doesn’t raise or lower taxes, but makes mining as subject to taxes as any other industry in the state.

*WI.  Ooops.  “An accidentally released court filing reveals how one company secretly gave money to a nonprofit that helped get favorable mining legislation passed.”  The “one company” is owned by billionaire Chris Cline whose subsidiary, Gogebic Taconite, reportedly “gave $700,000 to a [WI] conservative nonprofit [which], in turn donated almost $3 million” to another WI nonprofit that pushed the mine permit process change, and influenced elections.  Complicated story of dark money at work.

*WI. Much effort to register WI Native Americans to vote so “they will have a say about mining in northern Wisconsin.”  A large Gogebic Taconite  iron mine is possible at the headwaters of the Bad River, leading to pollution as well as disruption of “treaty-rights to hunt, fish and gather wild rice”—without consulting with tribes.  90% of adult members of the Menominee tribe turned out to vote in 2012; this year there’s a contest to see which tribal communities can turn out the most votes.  Leaders such as Winona LaDuke (Anishinaabeg) and state Senate candidate Paul DeMain (Oneida, Ojibwe) are up against “a state mining company owned by a billionaire” (see above) and supported by Charles and David Koch.

*WV.  A lab tech for Appalachian Laboratories plead guilty to diluting water samples, substituting clean water samples for mining discharge samples and not refrigerating water samples—in violation of state and federal requirements.   He did this for five years, helping mines avoid running afoul of the Clean Water Act and helping his employer’s profitability.

*Canada.  700 souls “invested” their life-savings in an “African gold mining company run by a globe-trotting Canadian televangelist”, and they’re now out $18 million.  The Saskatoon televangelist has also run on hard times;  he is now broke, homeless and facing a divorce.

CommunityMyFDL Front Page

Mining The Earth: 14 Oct 2014

Mining The Earth:

*USA.  Use of sand for fracking may be all the rage right now, but concerns about “the health impacts of breathing silica dust” are mounting, too.  One sand miner’s stock increased 400% over the past year and a half, and another is adding 3.8 million tons “of frac sand mine and plant capacity in Wisconsin and Missouri.”  But health experts and local governments are increasingly very concerned about the major effects of sand mining on health.

*AK.  Alaskans will be voting on Ballot Measure 4 in November, which is aimed at protecting salmon and includes requiring the state legislature to have the “final say on any large oil, gas and mining projects in the 36,000 square miles of the Bristol Bay Fisheries Reserve.”  In other words, it includes an additional step aimed at protecting Bristol Bay from a proposed gold, copper and molybdenum mine.    More here.

*KY.  Sen. Mitch McConnell (R) and his challenger, Allison Grimes (D), are trying to outdo each other in promises to protect the coal industry “and fight the Environmental Protect[ion] Agency’s attempts to regulate its carbon emissions.”  Do they know coal accounts for .06% of jobs in KY?

*NV.  On November 4th, voters will have the opportunity to “remove mining’s unique, 150-year-old tax protections from the state constitution and allow the Legislature to update the mining tax system to reflect modern times.”  It’s Question 2, which doesn’t raise or lower taxes, but makes mining as subject to taxes as any other industry in the state.

*WI.  Ooops.  “An accidentally released court filing reveals how one company secretly gave money to a nonprofit that helped get favorable mining legislation passed.”  The “one company” is owned by billionaire Chris Cline whose subsidiary, Gogebic Taconite, reportedly “gave $700,000 to a [WI] conservative nonprofit [which], in turn donated almost $3 million” to another WI nonprofit that pushed the mine permit process change, and influenced elections.  Complicated story of dark money at work.

*WI. Much effort to register WI Native Americans to vote so “they will have a say about mining in northern Wisconsin.”  A large Gogebic Taconite  iron mine is possible at the headwaters of the Bad River, leading to pollution as well as disruption of “treaty-rights to hunt, fish and gather wild rice”—without consulting with tribes.  90% of adult members of the Menominee tribe turned out to vote in 2012; this year there’s a contest to see which tribal communities can turn out the most votes.  Leaders such as Winona LaDuke (Anishinaabeg) and state Senate candidate Paul DeMain (Oneida, Ojibwe) are up against “a state mining company owned by a billionaire” (see above) and supported by Charles and David Koch.

*WV.  A lab tech for Appalachian Laboratories plead guilty to diluting water samples, substituting clean water samples for mining discharge samples and not refrigerating water samples—in violation of state and federal requirements.   He did this for five years, helping mines avoid running afoul of the Clean Water Act and helping his employer’s profitability.

*Canada.  700 souls “invested” their life-savings in an “African gold mining company run by a globe-trotting Canadian televangelist”, and they’re now out $18 million.  The Saskatoon televangelist has also run on hard times;  he is now broke, homeless and facing a divorce.

*Mexico.  Environmental damage resulting from the terrible August 6th disaster at Grupo Mexico’s Buenavista mine in Sonora is estimated at $133.7 million, twice the original estimate.  Grupo Mexico has been ordered to “permanently monitor river pollution,  . . .  land, livestock . . . , and the atmosphere.” Reportedly,  Grupo Mexico’s owner, Germán Larrea Mota-Velasco “is not only the most reclusive Mexican billionaire, but he appears to be the stingiest.”  He’s in a legal tussle “over a luxury penthouse at the Ritz Carlton” in Chicago at the moment.

*England.  (more…)

Previous post

On World Day of Food Sovereignty, Struggling for Land in Brazil

Next post

Mining The Earth: 14 Oct 2014

Oxdown Diaries

Oxdown Diaries