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December 04, 2008

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Discussion Topic: EPA Lets Miners Dump In Waterways

From Reuters:

The Bush administration is easing the way for coal companies to dump debris from mountaintop mining into nearby valleys and streams in a move deplored by environmental and Appalachian citizens' groups. . . .

"The EPA's own scientists have concluded that dumping mining waste into streams devastates downstream water quality," said Ed Hopkins of the Sierra Club. "By signing off on a rule to eliminate a critical safeguard for streams, the EPA has abdicated its responsibility and left the local communities that depend on these waters at risk."

Some 126 million tons of coal came from U.S. mountaintop mining in 2007, accounting for 10 percent of U.S. coal production, said Carol Raulston of the National Mining Association.

Raulston disputed the environmentalists' charges, saying the new rule was "merely a clarification of what is required in order to conduct any type of mining activity."

What’s your reaction?


Mike Diehl

It's no surprise that Chimpy McShrub has directed the EPA to ignore scientific advice and to put the interests of the citizenry behind the interests of campaign donors.

I understand it can be difficult to overturn a "rule." Here's hoping Pres. Obama can add some rules, such as, "No earth moving device with a gross weight greater than 500 pounds may be used while dumping mine tailings or debris." T


I hate that they valley fill. But I like cheap and available electricity a bit more. Also I am originally from southwest VA and coal employs a whole pile of people in a region with few to no other employment opportunities. I also worked in consulting for awhile and Bush policies basically killed that because coal companies weren't forced to even pretend to care and hire a consulting firm to tell them how to comply with more stringent regs. I could run this post on forever but my short opinion is keep gettin that coal but would someone please make the companies atleast make some appearance of giving a crap about the land.

Justin T

As a member of TU this is a worst case scenario; mountaintop removal is bad enough with runoff of sulfur but dumping into waterways is sickening. I hear the cheap electricity argument all the time and my reaction to that is that more people need to conserve, I have my heat set on 60 degrees and burn wood. I do agree with Obama when he said to someone worried about their electric bills and keeping comfortable he said put on a sweater. We need coal, but we do not need to strip mine or remove mountaintops to get to it. From a religous point of view think of the hubris; in order to get cheap electricity and some comfort we are destroying some of God's magnificent creations and to me that is unforgivable.


this awful, awful ruling is going to have a major impact in WV (where I live) and KY and smaller but still important impacts in a few other states. The really crappy thing is - most Americans are going to live on, blissfully unaware of what is happening in Appalachia, while entire watersheds are destroyed.

also, Shane, mountaintop removal is desireable to companies because they can employ LESS people. coal mining IS NOT a long term economic solution. what really peeves me off is that NOBODY can come up with an alternative economic solution for the coal fields, so this MYTH of the value of coal mine jobs to rural economies continues to live on.

by the way - clever idea, Mike. :)


hal herring

Let's look at it like this. How much are those water supllies worth? How much damage does this do, economically, to communities there? What are the costs of the deforestation, in carbon credits, in biodiversity, in the long term?
Exactly what are we losing by allowing the companies to do this? how much would is cost to reverse the damages? I would think that it was in the millions or billions of dollars- costs that the companies simply "externalize" onto the environment, and thus onto everybody else, while keeping all the "profits"- "profits" in quotes because the money made is actually stolen from everybody else.
Okay, we can factor in the cost of power- why can't an independent agency or economist figure out whther these ridiculous mountain top removal practices have ACTUALLY decreased or prevented increases in, the COST of electricity. From what I know, these practices HAVE NOT decreased the costs of electricty to the consumer, but they have indeed increased the costs of that electricty to future water supllies, communities, fisheries, forests and wildlife, air quality, etc etc etc.

This "rule" from the last weeks of this Administration is an example of a kleptocracy, parceling out of the treasure of a nation to a selected group. If there was ever any doubt about the true nature of these folks that we elected, this rule- which is astounding, coming from a government that claims to lead the US for the benefit of the majority of the people - lays that doubt to rest. It is a giveaway, pure and simple, and by the time it is reversed, the money will have been saved, made, and banked by industry.

We will be left with the staggering debt to clean it up.

Sounds real familiar, doesn't it?

The worst thing in all of this, to me, is not that corrupt people in government would issue this rule. You can look at Mexico,Zimbabwe, Russia, and see that kleptocratic governments are everywhere.

What is depressing is that an American company would take advantage of this, and actually continue this practice.

If you are willing to wreck mountains and watersheds, somebody has to step in and regulate you. If you pretend to believe in some kind of "free market" but then put all the costs of doing your business onto others, somebody has to step in and call a halt to your operations.

As a real believer in conservative
ideas, small government and free markets, this kind of thing makes me sick.



Who are the 27% of people who still like this guy?!


Though ya'll were outdoorsmen and coulc brave rough weather. i guess you just wusses who need "cheap electricity." You're a disgrace to the hunting community and the human population in general. Are you really saying a chipmunk can handle cold better than you, Shane?


Though ya'll were outdoorsmen and coulc brave rough weather. i guess you just wusses who need "cheap electricity." You're a disgrace to the hunting community and the human population in general. Are you really saying a chipmunk can handle cold better than you, Shane?


Though ya'll were outdoorsmen and coulc brave rough weather. i guess you just wusses who need "cheap electricity." You're a disgrace to the hunting community and the human population in general. Are you really saying a chipmunk can handle cold better than you, Shane?


Forget the furor. There are ways to deal with this but I am not going to waste my time trying to explain it. Hire a good enviro. attorney and challenges the regs.; if that doesn't work, sue for trespass and violation of other water pollution standards when the pollution floats downstream and contaminates other peoples' water. All is not lost.


How many people on this website voted for Bush because the Dem's were gong to take away their assault errrr I mean hunting rifles away??!!. Bush had a dismal environmental reccord when he came into office. The hunting community needs to look beyound some of the issues that frankly are far over rated, such as gun control. I am a life long dem and I own guns, I tore up my NRA card along time ago, they have turned into a whack job organization. I vote based on MANY issues and concerns not just one or two.
One can argue that the Dem's dont have a 100% perfect reccord on the environment but compared to the GOP / Bush team who get F's on the environment, the choice is obvious.


Obama @ least has a brain and surounds himself with SMART people, I doubt that Obama will be steam rolled by anyone, Bush was / is uncurious about the world around him and is a poor leader by any stretch so dont be supprised by the stunts he pulls in the last few weeks of his tenure.
Remember Clinton got alot of flack for signing off on alot wilderness designation in his last few weeks in office.

The argument about "Employment" is lame, I live in Oregon where much of the rural economy was based off of Logging, cutting back has for sure cuased SOME hardships but nothing that was purported by the Pro Timber crowd. Oreogn has flurished by pushing for lots of other industries that have easily taken the place of Logging such as Wind Power ( Vestus builds windmills here ), High Tech, Manufacturing etc.
I think it is a scary and SAD commentary on this generation that we cannot find a way to save what little clean air, water and minimal wild places we have left for the next generation.


A couple of things; Mike - it's not that hard to overturn a rule, which is what the current administration is doing (there is a formal process, but each successive administration seems to shave more of the obstacles away, streamlining the process). If BHO is going to stand behind his campaign promises, he will issue a new rule early next year, to protect our water resources [as they should be]. He promised to protect the nation's resources, correct? My second point; Pres. Bush, has been a special interest group lackey for the last three years, so this new rule is not a surprise. My source of concern is that BHO is no different and just as big (and bad) a SIGL- just a lackey for a different collection of special interest groups (some the same as Pres. Bush, some are different). If you wish to argue to the contrary, fine. Before doing so, I would ask you to consider this fact - Pres. Bush was the frontrunner in money raising in '04, and BHO was the frontrunner in money raising in '08 - by a wide margin.


Have you ever in your life had a single topic that you could argue to a reasonable, logical conclusion, or do you just bounce around like a ping-pong ball in a whirlwind?
Pick one. Please. Your choice.
Oherwise it's like trying to understand and discuss with Sybil, the schizophrenic.



Dont blame me if you cannot think / discuss a complex subject. Maybe the Ping Pong you are referring to is bouncing around in your head.

Instead of whinning @ me maybe you could attempt to join the discussion...
Is that simple enough for you?.


"Dont blame me if you cannot think / discuss a complex subject."

I would love to think and discuss any subject you wish. And if they are as complex as you imply let's do so.
Pick one from your list:
1) assault rifles
2)Bush environmental record
3)gun control
4)NRA being a whack job
5) Obama has a brain.............oh,please let's do this one
6)Clinton got a lot of flack
7) Oregon (or Oreogn) "flurished" (is that flourished or flushed) with wind power and high tech
8)What little clean air, water, wild places still exist

Focus, focus!


I would love to think and discuss any subject you wish. And if they are as complex as you imply let's do so.
Pick one from your list:

1) assault rifles. Whatever....

2)Bush environmental record.

This is easy.
I could fill page after page....

4)NRA being a whack job.

Tom Delay is one of it's biggest supporters....Need I say more.

5) Obama has a brain.............oh,please let's do this one.

Columbia University.
Havard Law Degree.
Taught Constitutional Law.
Need I say more.. Compared to McChimp's C- Yale MBA....Palin, 5 different Community Colleges to Graduate!!

6)Clinton got a lot of flack


7) Oregon (or Oreogn) "flurished" (is that flourished or flushed) with wind power and high tech.

It is FLUSH with Liberals and High Tech "Flourishes" in Oregon.... Got that?. Hence the high quality of life,Urban and Rural....

8)What little clean air, water, wild places still exist.

What part of this do you not understand?.


Good formula = Mike Diehl + UB3L.
I have been an NRA member for a long time and I will occasionally disagree with the organization on particular issues. To portray the membership of the NRA in toto based upon the support of one member, Tom Delay, is like recognizing Dr. Jack Kevorkian as the archtype for all medical doctors.
This administration has shown a blatant disregard for the environment. We as sportsmen/sportswomen, needs be cautious however in our attempts to reverse the current damaging trend lest the environmental oversight fall to some of the more "whacko" or extreme environmental organizations. I need not mention any names.

Hunter gatherer

Once again, we see that the biggest threat to hunting and fishing is not the animal rights activists or environmental groups. The biggest threat is the republican party who passes out "so and so for sportsmen" bumper stickers like candy and then destroys the land we hunt and fish on. I can't wait for January and to Bush get the hell out of the White House forever! Human overpopulation and the overconsumption of resources are two issues that need to be addressed. Change your lifestyle. Start this Christmas by consuming less. We don't need huge mansions, gas guzzling trucks, or tons of crap. Sarah Palin has five kids, so she doesn't think human overpopulation is a problem obviously. Please don't elect her in 2012.


Those above who believe that Barry is less beholden to those same special interests and big money are more naive then the youngest child. Perhaps, there is truth that Barry will not ease up on heavy industry and will seek tougher regs.; instead, he will allow enviro-terrorists/facists to chase us out of the parks and streams because, god forbid, we take something from the land. Not too mention, these same enviro-facists will tax us heavily and make it cost-prohibitive for reloaders and generic shooters alike due to heavy-metal regulations. It's not all roses with the Messiah in office.

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