Mining the Earth: 9 Sep 2014

By: Tuesday September 9, 2014 6:35 pm

*MA. Let’s hope this is the beginning of a trend. Two men blocked a ship from delivering coal to a MA power plant last year by anchoring a lobster boat in its path. They were protesting use of coal “and other fossil fuels, the primary cause of global warming.” Believe it or not, local prosecutors have dropped the criminal charges against the two men out of concern for “the children of Bristol County and beyond”—and one of the prosecutors plans on participating in the People’s Climate March being held this month in New York. (The two men, by the way, are going to pay a $2,000 fine each “for alleged civil infractions.”)

 

Mining The Earth: 25 Aug 2014

By: Monday August 25, 2014 6:30 pm

Some Alaskan politicians are upset that the Polley Mine disaster near Likely, British Columbia could be repeated at the Red Chris Mine (both owned by Imperial Metals) located “in the Stikine watershed, which is shared with Alaska” and BC. They’re also rattled by the proposed KSM gold and copper mine (owned by Seabridge Gold) in northwestern BC near Alaska. What to do? Well, they wrote to US Secretary of State John Kerry and asked him to intervene.

Holes in the Earth

By: Monday August 18, 2014 7:15 pm

“Mining companies losing billions of dollars from conflicts with local communities”, according to researchers from the University of Queensland, the Harvard Kennedy School and Clark University. Not wanting to pass up an opportunity to hammer home that theme, here’s a bit of a round-up of just such recent activities, beginning with Bristol Bay.

West Virginians Still Need Water After Coal Chemical Spill

By: Tuesday January 21, 2014 5:46 pm

So little is known about 4-MCHM that regulators didn’t even know it’s boiling point. Now scientists are scrambling to find out how the chemical reacts with the chlorine in the municipal water system, and whether the chemical has leached into water heaters and water pipes in people’s homes. Authorities recommend that all pipes that have come in contact with the pollutant be flushed, including water heaters and outdoor faucets.

However, West Virginia American Water, the company that owns the water treatment facility contaminated by the coal chemical, is only offering a 10 dollar credit (1000 gallons) to consumers. The cost of flushing homes will therefore fall on already struggling West Virginians.

Hobet Mine Shutdown, a Photo Diary

By: Monday August 6, 2012 4:16 pm

I was invited to photograph the protest and shutdown of the Hobet Mine in Boone and Lincoln Counties in West Virginia last week. The organizers knew me from my participation in the Blair Mountain March last year. This is the biggest mountaintop removal mine in the US, I am told. I was not aware of the location selected until we got there.

Embarrassment of Riches: Conflict Diamond Regulation Breaks Down

By: Sunday December 11, 2011 8:35 am

The holiday season is a time of material pleasures, but it’s also a time to take stock of how our social values tend to be at odds with the objects we most prize.

While countless American shoppers splurge this month–probably to delude ourselves momentarily that we can still afford to indulge—the social cost of one luxury item has exposed a global crisis. The human rights group Global Witness has abandoned the Kimberly Process, the international regulatory framework aimed at restricting trafficking in “conflict diamonds.” The group argues that the process, which it helped create, is broken and ridden with loopholes.

Anti-Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining Activists March on Blair Mountain

By: Tuesday June 7, 2011 9:50 am

From Marmet, West Virginia, to Blair, West Virginia, hundreds are marching across the Appalachian region throughout this week to honor the historic labor event known as the Battle of Blair Mountain. This event designed to remember one of the largest battles in US labor history, however, is not just about history. A coalition known as Appalachia Rising is using the five-day march to call attention and protest mountaintop removal coal mining.

Erik Prince, Sanctions, and Mineral Wealth

By: Monday June 28, 2010 6:00 pm

I’m not saying this is what’s happening. But if I were a big spook, I’d love to have someone with the skill set of Prince, off in a haven protected from American law, setting up an entity that can do what Blackwater does but do so with neither the legal oversight (as if that did us a damn bit of good) nor the requirement to be paid in cash.

Media Discovers Large Pockets of Minerals in Afghanistan

By: Monday June 14, 2010 12:45 pm

I say that the media discovered them because the front-page article in the New York Times today had upped the chatter quotient on mineral deposits in Afghanistan that were found a long time ago. The World Bank wrote about Afghanistan’s mineral development in 2004. China has already begun to mine in Afghanistan, with the Kabul [...]

Massey Stock Upgraded to “Buy” as Mine Disaster “Immaterial” to Profit (Update: NY Comptroller Calls on Blankenship to Resign)

By: Monday April 12, 2010 4:12 pm

This morning’s news from the S&P stock exchange should be music to Don Blankenship’s ears. Massey’s stock has been upgraded to a “buy” because the accident should be “immaterial” to Massey’s finances. This is the bet that Blankenship made with the lives of 29 miners: that he could risk their lives without risking his profits. Richard Trumka called this disaster “the inevitable result of a profit-driven system and reckless corporate conduct.” He couldn’t be more correct. And Don Blankenship couldn’t care less.

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