It’s not straight from the VP’s mouth, but it’s straight from his policy book. Energy companies rule and all you folks living in the neighborhood can “just go f— yourselves” to quote on Administration Official.
The one thing that has been consistent about the Bush Presidency is that never have so many environmental laws been gutted, overwritten, or just plain ignored in such a short amount of time.
New rules would ease coal mining restrictions | Chron.com – Houston Chronicle
The Bush administration wants to quit requiring coal operators to prove that their surface mining will not damage streams, fish and wildlife.Under proposed new regulations that it will put out Friday for public comment, strip mine operators would have to show only that they intend “to prevent, to the extent possible using the best technology currently available,” such damage.
I think the kicker is this from the end of the above article though…
The latest changes to the buffer-zone rule were first proposed more than three years ago.
At a hearing in March 2004, opponents talked of floods and flattened peaks and of homes swept away or devalued in central Appalachia.
A lawyer for the National Mining Association said the mines’ preference was to get rid of the rule entirely, because it is confusing and there are other protections for streams in federal law.
The telling part of that final statement is left unsaid in the article though..
Clean Water Action: Save Our Mountains, Save Our Streams
The Bush administration has changed Clean Water Act rules that prohibit dumping of wastes, especially mountaintop removal coal mining waste – but also hardrock mining waste, construction and demolition debris, and other industrial wastes – to bury streams, wetlands, lakes, rivers, ponds and other water bodies around the country.
This May 3, 2002 rule change puts virtually all of our nation’s waters at risk by overturning a 25-year old regulation that forbid the use of wastes to fill and bury waters.
Then there is this article:
EPA eliminates Clean Water Act protection for many non-navigable waters and wetlands
As a result of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rule changes to the enforcement of the Clean Water Act, it now only automatically applies to permanent navigable waters and the wetlands attached to these waters. Intermittent and non-navigable waters and their wetlands may or may not be protected depending upon other criteria including whether or not they are attached to navigable waterways. These changes were the result of a Supreme Court ruling last year that ruled in the words Justice Anthony Kennedy that there must be a “significant nexus” between a wetland and/or waters and a navigable waterway. The cause of the navigable water requirement in the Supreme Court’s ruling is the wording of the Clean Water Act itself, which under Title I Section 101(a)(1) states:
it is the national goal that the discharge of pollutants into the navigable waters be eliminated by 1985.
So the protections the Mining Association Lawyer was talking about don’t exist…Are you surprised?
This Administration has systematically destroyed the laws and policies put in place to protect Americans. Be it your health, your jobs, your right to an education…None of these things matter to this Administration. The only thing that matters is that the companies with the most friends and relatives on their boards continue to do business unfettered by legal restraints. Even if it takes rewriting the laws in the late night committee meetings on the eve of the vote…
If you have stuck with me this far…go write a letter to your Representatives in Congress. Tell them to say NO…NO to Mountaintop Removal…NO to Water Pollution…NO to Air Pollution…NO to Drilling in ANWAR…NO to the indiscriminant drilling in the Rockies…Aw hell, just tell the to say NO to Bush and Chaney for a change.
For more info and to Take Action follow these links…
- Mountaintop removal mining (MTR) Wikipedia
- Massey Energy
- Mountain Party
- Erik Reece
- United Coal Company
- Appalachian Voices
- Mountain Justice Summer
- Moving Mountains – Grist
Update Friday 8/24/07 7pm
The above mentioned rule change has a 60 day comment period attached. Here is contact info in order to comment…
Here’s some additional info:
Excess Spoil, Coal Mine Waste, and Buffers for Waters of the United States–Proposed rule. [30 CFR Parts 780, 784, 816, and 817]
In the event you DO want to respond, here’s how:
People have 60 days to submit comments on the proposed rule by mail or courier to the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, Administrative Record, Room 252-SIB, 1951 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. 20240, or by Internet through the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Please identify the comments by including docket number 1029-AC04 in the subject line.
From Gristmill | Killing you legally: The Bush administration proposes to make illegal MTR mining legal
Later Still: Fred First has posted a page of instructions on how to comment on this at his wiki — Stop Mountaintop Removal Mining