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Mining The Earth: 18 Nov 2014

BREAKING: Senate does NOT pass Sen Landrieu’s Keystone XL bill, 59-41.

Via our friend Teddy SanFran:
Here are Democrats who voted for the bill: Sen. John Walsh and Jon Tester of Montana; Joe Manchin III of West Virginia; Mary Landrieu of Louisiana; Tom Carper of Delaware; Joe Donnelly of Indiana; Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota; Michael Bennet of Colorado; Mark Begich of Alaska; Mark Pryor of Arkansas; Mark Warner of Virginia; Kay Hagan of North Carolina; Claire McCaskill of Missouri; Bob Casey of Pennsylvania.

Mining The Earth:

*US.  National Public Radio and Mine Safety and Health News: “thousands of mine operators fail to pay safety penalties . . . [most of which] are between two and 10 years overdue . . .. [F]ederal regulators seem unable or unwilling to make mine owners pay.”  $70 million in delinquent penalties owed by 2700 mining companies to date, 130,000 additional violations among delinquent mines, and many other findings.

*GA.  “No DuPont Mine” signs abound in Wayne County, objecting to mining “titanium oxide, zircon and other minerals on 2,254 acres”.  DuPont has made some concessions, but those are not enough for some residents.  DuPont says its mine will “eventually provide 60 jobs”.  Public hearing November 25th.

*GA.  Surface  mining seems headed for approval in Floyd County, with a public hearing scheduled on changes to regulations and code “that would make surface mining . . . less restrictive.”  They’re distinguishing surface mining from quarrying, with the latter defined as involving explosives.

*KY.  Federal suit by a citizens group is planned against Trinity Coal’s Frasure Creek Mining for “submitting falsified reports of pollution discharges into Kentucky waterways” in Floyd, Knott, Magoffin and Perry Counties.  The group also says “the state Energy and Environment Cabinet ‘has utterly failed to even notice these flagrant violations of the laws that it is bound to uphold.”

*MN.  University of Minnesota will ask state legislators to approve $6.25million for a two-year start-up of the Initiative for Sustainable Mining Solutions.  Their objectives are “to bolster existing iron ore efforts, develop new copper-nickel deposits and solve the vexing environmental and health problems that come with both.”  Huh?

*WI.  Reportedly, “more than 40 percent of frac sand producers [20 of 47] in Wisconsin have violated state environmental laws in recent years”, most about water use.  Weak regulations, “manipulation of local governments” are cited.

*WV.  Donald Blankenship,  former chief executive of Massey Energy Co., was indicted last Thursday for  federal mine safety violations “prior to the April 2010 explosion at the company’s Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia, which killed 29 people.”  Other charges include lying to the US Securities and Exchange Commission.  Possible maximum of 31 years in prison.  Many—former employees and relatives, UMW, attorneys—are speaking out about problems at the mine and with Blankenship.  More here and here.

CommunityMyFDL Front Page

Mining The Earth: 18 Nov 2014

BREAKING: Senate does NOT pass Sen Landrieu’s Keystone XL bill, 59-41.

Via our friend Teddy SanFran:
Here are Democrats who voted for the bill: Sen. John Walsh and Jon Tester of Montana; Joe Manchin III of West Virginia; Mary Landrieu of Louisiana; Tom Carper of Delaware; Joe Donnelly of Indiana; Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota; Michael Bennet of Colorado; Mark Begich of Alaska; Mark Pryor of Arkansas; Mark Warner of Virginia; Kay Hagan of North Carolina; Claire McCaskill of Missouri; Bob Casey of Pennsylvania.

Mining The Earth:

*US.  National Public Radio and Mine Safety and Health News: “thousands of mine operators fail to pay safety penalties . . . [most of which] are between two and 10 years overdue . . .. [F]ederal regulators seem unable or unwilling to make mine owners pay.”  $70 million in delinquent penalties owed by 2700 mining companies to date, 130,000 additional violations among delinquent mines, and many other findings.

*GA.  “No DuPont Mine” signs abound in Wayne County, objecting to mining “titanium oxide, zircon and other minerals on 2,254 acres”.  DuPont has made some concessions, but those are not enough for some residents.  DuPont says its mine will “eventually provide 60 jobs”.  Public hearing November 25th.

*GA.  Surface  mining seems headed for approval in Floyd County, with a public hearing scheduled on changes to regulations and code “that would make surface mining . . . less restrictive.”  They’re distinguishing surface mining from quarrying, with the latter defined as involving explosives.

*KY.  Federal suit by a citizens group is planned against Trinity Coal’s Frasure Creek Mining for “submitting falsified reports of pollution discharges into Kentucky waterways” in Floyd, Knott, Magoffin and Perry Counties.  The group also says “the state Energy and Environment Cabinet ‘has utterly failed to even notice these flagrant violations of the laws that it is bound to uphold.”

*MN.  University of Minnesota will ask state legislators to approve $6.25million for a two-year start-up of the Initiative for Sustainable Mining Solutions.  Their objectives are “to bolster existing iron ore efforts, develop new copper-nickel deposits and solve the vexing environmental and health problems that come with both.”  Huh?

*WI.  Reportedly, “more than 40 percent of frac sand producers [20 of 47] in Wisconsin have violated state environmental laws in recent years”, most about water use.  Weak regulations, “manipulation of local governments” are cited.

*WV.  Donald Blankenship,  former chief executive of Massey Energy Co., was indicted last Thursday for  federal mine safety violations “prior to the April 2010 explosion at the company’s Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia, which killed 29 people.”  Other charges include lying to the US Securities and Exchange Commission.  Possible maximum of 31 years in prison.  Many—former employees and relatives, UMW, attorneys—are speaking out about problems at the mine and with Blankenship.  More here and here.

*WV.  Another mine owner, Jim Justice, has “70 active mines employing 1,200 miners in five states”.  Justice is alleged to have “invested or given away more than $200 million in the last five years”, but “his mines owe nearly $2 million in overdue fines” in mine safety violations.  Justice’s Chief Operating Officer of Southern Coal claims they’ve “simply been not having the avaiiable cash to settle those.”

*Canada.  BC-based Salmon Beyond Borders aims to raise public awareness about “the potential impacts of proposed mines” on salmon.  They are working in AK.  Partners include the United Tribal Transboundary Mining Working Group and the Tahltan First Nations (Sacred Headwaters stand-off, among others).  Proposed mines under scrutiny have “shared watersheds . . . with Alaska, the Taku, Stikine, and Unuk Rivers.”

*Canada.  38% of Aboriginal people in “rural/remote communities” have a positive perception of mining.

*Canada.  The Mount Polley mine disaster “has taken a toll on Imperial Metals’ . . . bottom line.”  3rd quarter last year they showed $114.7 million net income; 3rd quarter this year, a $49.2 million loss. (more…)

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