Costo’s customers flood Facebook to tell company no to dirty gold.

June 30, 2011 • Nick Magel

Costco's public face on Facebook is taking a beating this week. Customers are fed up with Costco's inability to sign on to the No Dirty Gold Campaign s Golden Rules .

Why isn't Costco supporting clean gold? We don't know.  We assume it isn't because they don't care about children working in mines or cyanide spills poisoning communities' drinking water.  Maybe it is because they think their customers don't care. Well they are showing them this week that that is the furthest from the truth.

The Real Price of Gold : Channel 4 special exposes dirty gold at jewellery retailers across UK

June 29, 2011 • Nick Magel

8pm Monday, as every Monday, saw Channel 4 broadcast its programme Dispatches . Only this week, it was called The Real Price of Gold and looked at where the gold for jewellery comes from.

Presenter and businesswoman Deidre Bounds was shown visiting a number of high street jewellery retailers encountering a storm of confusing and inaccurate sales patter from staff at high street jewellery stores about where their gold comes from.

Next we saw her travel to Honduras and Senegal to witness the process of how gold is mined. Footage showed a 14 year old boy in Senegal, working in an illegal mine, and handling toxic mercury with his bare hands. Then we saw children suffering health effects, which villagers near the Goldcorps mine in the Siria Valley in Honduras, link to mining. Here, a 14 year old boy was shown with headaches, sores on his skin, and hair loss. Tests found that he had more than double the safe limit of lead in his blood.

So what about the solutions? The programme highlighted Fairtade and Fairmined Gold where workers have safer working conditions and are guaranteed a fair wage. But at present just some 20 designer makers have access to this gold.

I Love My New York Water

June 24, 2011 • Alan Septoff

Earthworks is part of the Clean Water Not Dirty Drilling coalition that works to protect New York's water from irresponsible drilling.

Recently, a few famous New Yorkers got together to help out.

Zo Saldana, Nadia Dajani, Mark Ruffalo, Josh Charles, Ethan Hawke and Amy Ryan made this spot to encourage New Yorkers to speak out against dirty drilling -- and for the water upon which tens of millions of people rely.

After you watch the video, head on over to Clean Water Not Dirty Drilling to spread the word.

House Committee Attempts to Gut Clean Water Protections

June 22, 2011 • Lauren Pagel

Today, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee passed a bill that would shift regulatory powers over water and wetlands from U.S. EPA to the states. Among the legislation's provisions is a clause to limit EPA's ability to veto Clean Water Act permits for mining proposals that would have unacceptable adverse effect on water. States would have to approve the move before any such veto could take effect. 

HR 2018, the Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act of 2011, could have a serious impact on water quality throughout this country. Nowhere would that impact be felt more than in Alaska s Bristol Bay, where the proposed Pebble Mine threatens to destroy the world s largest sockeye salmon fishery. And with it, the livelihoods of the commercial fisherman, sport fisherman and native communities who rely on area waters to live. 

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Frack sand mining doesn’t just suck, it blows

June 21, 2011 • Sharon Wilson

When they say fracking goes miles deep and miles wide, they aren t kidding.

Recently I learned that EOG, aka Enron Oil and Gas, is planning to start a frack sand mining and processing plant in Cooke County near the beautiful Saint Jo. The planned 1,400-acre facility will handle all stages of production and transportation. Although EOG has only applied for and has not yet been granted the permit by TCEQ, they have already done a lot of construction and water well drilling at the proposed site. You can see aerial photographs acquired through the efforts of local citizens at the Save The Trinity Aquifer blog spot.   

Obama administration protects Grand Canyon from uranium mining: Secretary Salazar’s remarks

June 20, 2011 • Alan Septoff

From: DOI_Updates [mailto:DOI_Updates@ios.doi.gov]
Sent: Monday, June 20, 2011 2:34 PM
To: Undisclosed recipients:
Subject: Secretary Salazar's Remarks from Mather Point at the Rim of the Grand Canyon

Secretary Salazar's Remarks from Mather Point at the Rim of the Grand Canyon

All our water should be clean. Thank the EPA for acting to protect our drinking water.

June 20, 2011 • Alan Septoff

EPA map of Percentage of Surface Drinking Water from Intermittent, Ephemeral, and Headwater Streams
Percentage of Surface Drinking Water from Intermittent, Ephemeral, and Headwater Streams. Source: U.S. EPA

Wrongheaded interpretations of two confusing U.S. Supreme Court cases have put more than 20 million acres of wetlands and almost 60 percent of our streams at risk of losing Clean Water Act protections.

The EPA estimates that more than 117 million Americans' drinking water is supplied in whole or part by waters vulnerable to pollution thanks to the current confusion.

To fix things, the Environmental Protection Agency is clarifying which waters are protected by the Clean Water Act.

The new guidelines would reaffirm protection for critical waters -- including wetlands, and smaller streams, including those that flow part of the year.

Protecting wetlands and small streams is important for fish and wildlife habitat, reducing the frequency and intensity of floods, filtering pollutants, as well as supplying drinking waters to American families.

Action: Anti-Mining activist killed in El Salvador.

June 17, 2011 • Nick Magel

 

Sad and sobering news out of El Salvador today. Juan Francisco Duran Ayala a student activist involved in anti-mining campaigns in his community was found dead, having been shot twice execution style in the head. Ayala had been missing since June 3rd. Friends and neighbors said the last time he was seen was while he was posting up anti-mining posters in opposition of Vancouver-based Pacific Rim Mining Corporation s El Dorado gold mine in Caba as.

Pacific Rim has been embattled in a legal fight with the El Salvadorian government over the necessary environmental permits to continue their El Dorado mining operations. In fact, Pacific Rim has sued the country for $77 million dollars, claiming their rights under CAFTA have been broken. It s no wonder Pacific Rim is putting up such a fight with local communities and the federal government. Pacific Rim stands to make over $191 million in just 6 years.