Oil and gas companies love to wax lyrical about all the jobs they create while calling environmentalists 'anti-jobs', but recent studies have called the quality of oil and gas jobs into question.
To be clear, Earthworks is for jobs.
We are for sustainable (safe, well paying, community sourced) jobs.
Tomorrow, the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold an oversight hearing entitled “EPA vs. American Mining Jobs: The Obama Administration’s Regulatory Assault on the Economy”.
Of course, the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has had limited opportunity to assault the economy since the government shutdown. And one could ask whether the shutdown itself hurts the economy much worse than anything coming out of the EPA.
But that is beside the point. The point is that despite what we hear from the House Majority, mining companies love spending their money in the United States. Don’t take my word for it; ask the mining companies.
Dear Mr President -
Congratulations on your reelection.
Now that the fluff and the fury of the campaign is past, it’s time to buckle down and make the real decisions that are going to determine whether our country moves forward to a more sustainable future. Don’t despair though, Mr. President. We are here to help.
Sustainability -- making decisions today that leave us as at least as well off tomorrow -- is inextricably intertwined with how we use (or don’t use) our natural resources. And that means energy, and mining. I’ll cover mining today, and energy tomorrow.
Today, I attended a press conference held by one of the best guys on Capitol Hill, Congressman Raul Grijalva (D-AZ). Representative Grijalva announced that he and Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) (another friend of EARTHWORKS) are asking the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to tell us how much the minerals extracted from public lands and the Outer Continental Shelf are worth.
On Friday, the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Minerals and Energy had a hearing on the job creation effect of the Energy Policy Act of 2005.
I remember the Energy Policy Act of 2005 as the controversial legislation negotiated behind closed doors with Halliburton on one side and Vice President Cheney on the other. One of the reasons why many of us felt like that law carried the specter of a sweetheart deal for Vice President Cheney’s former employer is Section 390- the provision describing categorical exclusions (CXs). That is, drilling activities that are exempted from the standard environmental review process.
An investigation in the Broward-Palm Beach and Miami New Times showed that Walmart's "Love, Earth" jewelry line comes at the cost of workers' rights, health, and safety, and at the cost of communities and the environment around the mines. The jewelry line claims to be from responsible sources but is made under oppressive labor conditions and with gold and silver from polluting mines in Nevada and Utah.
The Western Shoshone Defense Project and Great Basin Resource Watch joined EARTHWORKS in sending a letter to Walmart. The letter calls on Walmart to drop the Love, Earth label until the jewelry line has independent, third party verification that it complies with the Golden Rules for responsible sourcing, and has properly consulted with affected communities and civil society about responsible sourcing.
A new investigation in the Broward-Palm Beach and Miami New Times has shed more light on Wal-Mart's "Love, Earth" jewelry line, and it's not looking so Lovely. In fact, the jewelry's looking rather like dirty gold: it comes at a great cost to jewelry factory workers and to the environment and communities around the mines.