How do you break into the headlines these days – with Wall Street reeling, London burning, and carnage in the streets of Syria?
A little hysteria helps.
That’s the tactic employed by Earthworks, an environmental Non-Government Organization (NGO). The group has been running a national campaign this week aimed at pressuring the EPA to provide additional federal regulations to close what they’ve deemed “loopholes” in the Clean Water Act. Their website claims that the bill as it stands now is confusing and allows American mining companies to “dump their toxic mining waste directly into our waters!”
They’ve selected the language “closing loopholes,” but the truth is that Earthworks and its supporters are looking to add layers of federal regulations to the Clean Water Act so that it is nearly impossible for the mining industry to function in the U.S. The fact that such a move would cripple American jobs and stall economic growth isn’t an issue for Earthworks.
With China exploiting mineral and metal resource shortages, and global demand growing, it’s not a winning argument. Now, I don’t usually get into the “he said, she said” of the environmental movement. But Earthworks’ effort isn’t exactly fact-friendly.
Case in point: In a June 21 letter from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski, the agency’s director, Robert Abbey, was asked how many U.S. mining operations his agency had approved since 1990. His reply? 659.
The BLM leader next answered Sen. Murkowski’s inquiry into the number of U.S. mines that have since been added to the taxpayer-funded Superfund Cleanup list. That number: zero.
Think about it. In the 21 years since 1990, Democrats and Republicans have evenly controlled the White House. That means, either there’s been an incredibly effective conspiracy spanning the Bush and Clinton years, and into President Obama’s presidency, to hide the mining malpractice Earthworks claims is rampant…
OR… That there’s a lengthy record of responsible mining in the U.S. – which is hardly the type of headline that an NGO like Earthworks is looking for.