|November 21, 2011||Posted by Beth Shaw under Mining|
Any multi-billion dollar business that depends on mining diamonds, silver and gold from the Earth is going to get pressure from environmental activists. After all, harvesting and refining precious gems and materials is the cornerstone of their business. Such is the case of Tiffany & Co, one of the largest high-end diamond retailers in the world
Apparently Tiffany has answered the environmentalists pressure by joining their cause.
But now Tiffany has started to put money and its public prestige into the effort to stop development of the proposed Pebble Mine, which is located two hundred miles southwest of Anchorage in the Bristol Bay area. Tiffany is one of the sponsors of a “roadshow” put on by “Save Bristol Bay.”
The roadshow consists of public screenings in six Western cities (Seattle, Portland, Corvallis, San Francisco, Santa Fe, and Denver) in October and a private screening in New York City on November 1st of a propaganda film that claims that the Pebble Mine would harm or even destroy Bristol Bay’s wild salmon fishery.
This charge would be extremely worrying if there were any chance that the mine would pollute the rivers, because the Bristol Bay watershed is the largest sockeye fishery in the world and has big runs of several other varieties of salmon. If this were 1911 or even 1961, that would be a legitimate concern. But in 2011, federal environmental controls are so strict that the water that new mines put back into rivers is cleaner than before the water was taken out of the river.
Tiffany & Co. expresses genuine concern for the environment on their website. In their statement they state they will raise ‘our voice to publicly oppose new mine developments that threaten places of high environmental and cultural value.’ This could be the hook that drove Tiffany to raise their voice against Pebble Mine. I’m sure the company is completely sincere in their concerns for the environment. After all, if there were no mines, there would be no Tiffany.
The Pebble Mine Project sits on top of one of the world’s largest copper and gold deposits in the world. They have been subjected to literally years of permitting processes and regulatory delays. They have spent millions in setting up environmental safeguards and guarantees. Yet Tiffany & Co conduct their mining operations in Botswana and other third world countries. To their credit they have made an effort to see that their operations are in countries like Botswana, one of the less corrupt countries in Africa, to ensure any profit from their operations are not used in conflicts between waring factions. Still the regulations and controls of a mine in the United States will undoubtedly be much less ‘dirty gold’ than any mined in other more remote and less regulated, parts of the world.
So why go after Pebble Mine and other mining interests in the United States while mining in Africa? Is it a matter of ‘out of sight, out of mind’? You know, get your gold, just don’t get it in my back-yard – oh, or my favorite fishing spot! Or, even more cynical, is it a matter of understanding that neither the Native Alaskans who are out of work because the Pebble Mine Project can’t be built due to government regulations nor the Botswanans who are mining and refining their diamonds are likely to ever buy an engagement ring from Tiffany. Whereas the wealthy environmental elite most certainly will be their customers. Not hard to make that choice, is it? Business is business.
I’m sure their intentions are good, but meanwhile American jobs are lost and being outsourced to Africa and our dependence on foreign resources continues to grow.
A kiss on the hand of the environmental may be awful nice, just get that ice in Africa, or else no dice.
|October 20, 2011||Posted by Beth Shaw under Mining|
Environmentalists have been caught red-handed AstroTurfing outrage over the Pebble Mine project. I guess its just not that easy to get the masses stirred up over their cause, so the environmentalists have stooped to paying people to support their cause – if only on paper.
The Save Bristol Bay Road Show is offering a chance to win some great prizes in exchange for signing a letter in support of stopping the Pebble Mine project in Alaska. The letters, to Washington Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray, are literally the raffle tickets for the prizes! You can see their Facebook page here.
The growing sign-to-win controversy draws into question the legitimacy of any outrage over the opposition to the Pebble Mine project. If not illegal, it is certainly ethically questionable.
Interestingly, the sign-to-win dog and pony show is being funded by Robert Gillam, CEO of McKinley Capital Management. Why is the richest man in Alaska funding opposition to mining in Alaska? What dog does he have in this race? It makes me wonder if the #OWS types are just being used to advance the interests of the 1%.
Here is more info on the growing ‘sign-to-win’ controversy at the Save Bristol Bay Road Show.
It seems the Save Bristol Bay road show is reduced to AstroTurfing environmental outrage over the Pebble Mine Project.
|September 29, 2011||Posted by Beth Shaw under Issues, Mining|
The environmentalists lose a bid to preemptively prevent American energy independence this week! Superior Court Judge Eric Aarseth ruled in favor of the Pebble Mine Project in Alaska with a 154-page ruling that the environmentalists have not proven their case and the exploration of the copper mine site had not had a negative impact on the environment in any way. Read more about it below.
Superior Court Judge Eric Aarseth delivered a major blow to the environmental activists who have been using regulations lawsuits and billions of dollars to prevent the Pebble Mine Project in Alaska from helping to provide American energy independence. Judge Aarseth handed down a 154-page ruling in favor of Alaska in the most recent lawsuit aimed at preventing the Pebble Mine Project from even being able to begin the permit process.
Pebble Mine is one of the largest copper deposits in the world. It is in the United States and could release us from our dependence on buying copper from China, which provides 97% of the copper used in the world.
The environmentalist have argued that the Pebble Mine MIGHT impact salmon in Bristol Bay, Alaska, even though the mine is over 200 miles north of the area.
The judge ruled that evidence “did not support the plaintiffs’ claims that mineral exploration activities in the Pebble Project area were significantly impacting or causing long term harm to concurrent uses.”
In his ruling, Judge Aarseth wrote:
“…[T]here is no evidence that Pebble’s exploration activities are now causing or will in the future cause permanent and deleterious changes to the environment. Indeed, Plaintiffs have failed to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that any long-term and harmful environmental impacts have actually occurred or necessarily will occur at the project site or surrounding environment.
The evidence shows that more than 20 years after minerals were first discovered at Pebble, the site continues to have pristine water and support wildlife and fisheries resources. The harms that Plaintiffs’ witnesses describe are speculative; they are neither harms occurring in fact nor did they show that the harm will necessarily occur.”
In other words, the environmentalists hysterical claims are hogwash.
While this ruling is a significant win for the goal of American energy Independence, it is not the end of the issue. Environmental groups have aggressively fought the Pebble Mine Project for years. This particular lawsuit has been ongoing since 2009. Since Judge Aarseth’s ruling, they say they are taking the case to the Supreme Court.
In order to keep this positive momentum going we must make sure we stay attentive and make sure that our voices continue to get heard. Big green has big bucks and are on a mission to stop the U.S. from extracting the copper in Southwest Alaska. U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell has attempted to preemptively prevent the permit process from moving forward. Federal agencies such as The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have used regulations to stall the Pebble Mine Project from even beginning the permit process for years.
The environmentalists are keeping a close watch on the Twitter hash-tag #GivePebbleAChance and using that to troll sites that refer to this project and leave cut and paste comments promoting their propaganda that has no foundation in scientific evidence.
You can help:
- Get the word out through your social network sites (Twitter, Facebook, etc.)
- Contact Senator Maria Cantwell and let her know you are not willing to kill the jobs the Pebble Mine Project would provide or continue to buy copper from China based on ideological theories not founded in fact.
- Blog about it and pass it on to your friends.
- Please sign our Twitter petition at http://act.ly/486. If you tweet about this, please use the hash tag #GivePebbleAChance.
|September 13, 2011||Posted by Beth Shaw under Mining|
Washington Senator Maria Cantwell writes on her website that she is leading efforts to make America more energy independent, yet in reality she has a history of standing in the way of American energy independence. Even though she represents Washington State, she is focusing her efforts on Alaskan resources. She says her constituents are asking her to take on the Pebble Mine Project. Therefore she needs to hear from those of us who really do want the United States to have energy independence.
Maria Cantwell is a life-long politician who was elected to her first Congressional term when she was just 28-years-old. She made millions of dollars selling stock options she had in RealNetworks, an internet streaming video company that was embroiled in scandal and settled lawsuits out of court for not disclosing that the company uses spyware to track the music listening habits of users.
She made her own millions and now appears to want to pull up the ladder so that other Americans can’t reach for the American Dream. She appears to be more interested in her own political fortunes as she approaches a re-election campaign than she is in the livelihoods of Alaskans who need jobs and the living standards of her fellow Americans who need copper for everyday appliances.
She’s had some success with blocking American energy independence in the past.
In 2005, Maria Cantwell managed to stop efforts to allow drilling in ANWAR by attaching the measure to a bill that provided for defense spending and aid for Hurricane Katrina victims. Now she is once again set to do whatever she can to stop American energy independence by petitioning the EPA to do anything the agency can to stop the Pebble Mine Project. Or perhaps this is a foray into Al Gore’s ‘full-on assault on climate skeptics’.
Environmental activists and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have long used regulations to prevent the Pebble Mine Project from even being able to begin the permitting process. They also use environmental study as the standard operating procedure to delay extraction of resources as part of their anti-American resource agenda. The state-of-the-art Pebble Mine Project has spent three years and $120 million performing exhaustive environmental reviews, the most in U.S. history, to ensure the project will have a minimal impact on the environment while extracting the precious resources we depend on in our society.
Now that the EPA has finally started a scientific analysis of the Pebble Mine Project and promised to have their results available in the fall, Senator Maria Cantwell has announced she will send a letter to the EPA asking the agency to stop the project altogether.
In other words, environmental activists seem to fear science and truth, trying to preempt the environmental process of a robust study they claim to embrace. Their opposition seems to be based on an emotional investment in their cause rather than on scientific fact and what is in the best interest of our country.
Senator Maria Cantwell is petitioning the EPA to use the Clean Water Act if necessary to stop the copper mine. If she is successful in her bid to stop Pebble Mine, then we will not be able to harvest one of the largest deposits of gold and copper in the world and will continue to be dependent on China for 97% of the copper we use in the U.S. That copper is used make the cell phones, computers and fossil fuel cars the environmentalists depend on to plan their protests. Do they even see the irony in that?
Please help us stop Maria Cantwell from succeeding in this misguided, job-killing and economy depressing venture to prevent the Pebble Mine Project from moving forward and condemning the United States to continuing to have to buy copper from China.
Please sign our Twitter petition at http://act.ly/486. If you tweet about this, please use the hash tag #GivePebbleAChance.
Contact Senator Maria Cantwell and tell her we want America to have energy independence:
Via email from her website: http://cantwell.senate.gov/contact/
Her office locations with fax and telephone numbers:
State Offices Toll-free
311 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
202-228-0514 – FAX
202-224-8273 – TDD
915 Second Avenue
Seattle, WA 98174
206-220-6404 – FAX
U.S. Federal Courthouse
W. 920 Riverside, Suite 697
Spokane, WA 99201
509-353-2547 – FAX
1313 Officers Row
Vancouver, WA 98661
360-696-7844 – FAX
825 Jadwin Avenue,
Richland, WA 99352
(509) 946-6937 – FAX
950 Pacific Avenue, Suite 615
Tacoma, WA 98402
2930 Wetmore Avenue, Suite 9B
Everett, WA 98201
You can watch the short videos below to give you a glimpse of just how unrealistic the concerns of the opponents of the Pebble Mine Project are. It is not near Bristol Bay and it is certainly not near Washington State.
|August 23, 2011||Posted by Beth Shaw under Mining|
When Barack Obama was campaigning for the presidency in 2007 and 2008 he said he would shut down the coal industry and energy prices would necessarily skyrocket. Apparently he meant what he said then and he is putting his ideology into practice now … at the expense of the American people and tens of thousands of American jobs, through rules, regulations and laws.
Get ready for the sacrifice of tens of thousands more American jobs (at least) to feed the fantasy of “clean energy.” Even as the “green jobs” promise proves to be a lie, the Obama administration is getting set to force the shutdown of countless power plants across half the nation.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s new Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, announced last month, will affect coal-fired electric plants in at least 27 midwestern and eastern states. Set to take effect next year, the rule could shutter up to a fifth of the nation’s generating capacity.
With coal providing 45 percent of the nation’s energy, utility companies warn of an economic “train wreck” if the regulations — based on Bush-era EPA proposals that the federal courts threw out in 2008 — take effect. One Wisconsin utility says its costs would jump $32.6 million next year, while the head of the Texas Public Utility Commission says the rules could lead to rolling blackouts — especially given the short time the utilities have to comply with Washington’s iron fist.
Steve Miller, president and CEO of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, warns of job losses totaling 1.4 million over the next eight years and a 23 percent jump in electric rates in states dependent on coal-fired plants.
With unemployment still sky-high, new jobless claims routinely hitting 400,000 a week and consumer prices rising, is this really the time to hobble the nation’s reeling economy further?
Absolutely, says autocratic EPA chief Lisa Jackson — who could possibly be against improving the air quality for up to 240 million Americans? “Just because wind and weather will carry air pollution away from its source at a local power plant doesn’t mean that pollution is no longer that plant’s responsibility.”
Fine — but wouldn’t it be nice if the EPA could prove real health effects before forcing the shutdown of so many plants?
Environmental extremists cheer the new rules because closing “dirty” coal plants is part of their fantasy of “clean energy” and green jobs. But the reality is otherwise. Even backed by stimulus funds, “green” business after business has flopped or folded, costing taxpayers millions.
In Seattle, a plan called Retrofit Ramp-Up sucked up $20 million in federal grants to make houses more energy efficient. The result: so far, only three homes retrofitted and just 14 jobs “created.” California got $186 million for a similar program and has spent just over half of it — with just 538 new full-time jobs to show for it.
Costco recently announced that it’s yanking out some 90 electric-car chargers at 64 of its stores, mostly in California — because nobody uses them. The discount retailer also rejected the offer of a $2.3 million upgrade by the California Energy Commission. “Why should we have anybody spend money on a program that nobody’s thought through?” said one regional manager.
So let’s get this straight: At the same time it’s spending millions of taxpayer dollars in pursuit of a chimera, the Obama administration is attacking the wellsprings of US prosperity, throwing people out of work and raising consumer costs. This isn’t just insane; it’s malevolent.
Nobody’s in favor of dirtier air or water, of childhood asthma or killing puppies. But progressives often seem to think that there’s never any cost for their crackpot notions, that no amount of money can ever possibly be too much, even if we have to borrow or print it. If people are thrown out of work in the process, tough.
Worst of all is the increasingly arbitrary reach of the regulatory state. President Richard Nixon created the EPA by executive order in 1970, in a hasty response to an oil spill near Santa Barbara. “The 1970s absolutely must be the years when America pays its debt to the past by reclaiming the purity of its air, its waters and our living environment,” he said.
That was 41 years ago. The nation’s air and water have noticeably improved since then — but they’ll never be clean enough to satisfy some. To people like Lisa Jackson, we need to keep on paying — even if it kills us.
Welcome to the ‘hope and change’ that candidate Obama offered the American people. Is this what you thought he meant?