Entry for July 17, 2007

As I’ve already mentioned, I subscribe to the mailing list of the National Mining Association’s Advocacy Campaign Team for Mining (logo is the circular button I’ve adapted above), its “grassroots” (astroturf) group.

Here’s its description verbatim: Now more than ever the mining industry’s employees, customers, shareholders and other stakeholders need to be informed and part of the solution. The National Mining Association’s Advocacy Campaign Team for Mining (ACT) is a national network of individuals from the who recognize the importance of being involved in the political process and being informed about the public policy debates that are shaping the future of the mining industry in America. The Advocacy Campaign Team for Mining (www.actformining.com) provides users with the resources to learn about the issues important to the mining industry and the tools necessary to communicate with legislators at all levels of government.

Yep, and by subscribing you will also have the tools to fight the industry when they don’t have our best interest at heart. (almost always). If you want their mailings ask for a sub from bkelley@nma.org.

Here’s the group’s latest Legislative Update. I quote it in full for your education below the fold. Here are the headlines:

  • “Mine Safety treads on dangerous ground in the House.”–George Miller supplemental bill to the MINER Act of 2006
  • “Rahall to host coal-to-liquid conference with the CTLC”–includes a link on how to register. Protest anyone? Aug. 14-15 at the Glade Springs Resort in Beckley, W.Va.
  • “Hearings scheduled for the clean water protection act” —House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure today and Thursday
  • “Buzz and Ballots” (pro-clt coverage at the Baltimore Sun and scientificblogging.com)

Regarding this last category, I think we should be writing letters to the editor to respond or op-eds. To facillitate this on the latter site, I’ve set up a column to comment on mtr and clt and mining legislation:


email me at beth_blog AT yahoo DOT com if you want me to post content there and if anyone can help me with the banner so it will stretch correctly, the original is here:




NMA ACT items verbatim

“Mine Safety treads on dangerous ground in the House”

A new supplemental bill to the Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response (MINER) Act of 2006, introduced by House Education and Labor Committee Chairman George Miller (D-Calif.), seeks to place undo regulations and unnecessary requirements on the industry even before the original safety bill has a chance to take effect.

The original MINER ACT of 2006 was a bipartisan bill that was also strongly endorsed by industry and labor. Since its passage, more than $250 million has been invested by National Mining Association (NMA) underground coal mine operators, alone, on safety improvements in their operations.

The new supplemental bill will create confusion and threaten continued progress on implementing the safety required by the MINER Act. It will also circumvent current rule making practices that could prevent the development of sound safety and health standards and uses a one-size fits all approach that fails to recognize the uniqueness of each mine. This could lead to incorrect safety measures and procedures being taken.

NMA is currently working with our member companie to educate and inform members of Congress on the possible negative effects of this untimely legislation. Hearings are being scheduled in the House Education and Workforce Committee to take place within the next two weeks, while a vote in the full House could possibly be scheduled for September.

To see the mining industry���s progress on fulfilling safety requirements please visit http://www.nma.org/p….

“Rahall to host coal-to-liquid conference with the CTLC”

House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) and the Coal-to-Liquids Coalition (CTLC) [allies include the UMWA] will host a coal-to-liquids conference to highlight the potential role of CTL fuels in America���s energy future if Congress acts on proposals to jump-start a domestic CTL industry.

The conference will be held Aug. 14-15 at the Glade Springs Resort in Beckley, W.Va. Speakers include Chairman Rahall, Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), Air Force Undersecretary Dr. Ronald M. Sega and Peabody Energy Vice President of Government Affairs Fred Palmer. In addition to the speakers, Air Force Assistant Secretary Bill Anderson, Michael Hayes of Sasol and financial analyst James Lucier will headline a panel discussion on CTL.

gistration is easy! Go to www.ctlconference2007.org and sign-up for this important event today!

Registration for the conference is $50, which covers meals and transportation to and from the airport. Hotel accommodations are $149 a night and must be made by directly calling the resort at (800) 634-5233. Please contact Corey Henry with any questions on registration, sponsorship pledges, information or comments regarding the conference at (202) 463-2621 or chenry@futurecoalfuels.org.

“Hearings scheduled for the clean water protection act”

The House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure is planning to hold two days of hearings this week on wetlands protection under the Clean Water Act (CWA).

The hearings will be held Tuesday, July 17, at 2 p.m., and Thursday, July 19, at 2 p.m., and will feature six different panels consisting of governors, state environmental protection officials, legal scholars, former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency administrators, ���stakeholders���, and scientists.

The bill would allow the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to assert federal jurisdiction over waters that have never before been subject to CWA authority and increase the permitting burdens and potential for litigation for a wide array of mining, construction, agricultural and other developments.

NMA and its WAC partners are with every member of the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee in advance of this week���s hearings to ensure they are aware of the consequences this legislation could have, as well as to furnish them with as much information as possible in preparation for the hearings.

“Buzz and Ballots”

Prepared this entry for West Virginia Blue, which I couldn’t get to cut and paste here as the library was closing: Keeping up with the NMA’s CLT and mining safety(not) lobbying and pony shows. It was promoted by WV Bluebelle to the front page. Here’s where you can read other articles in my archive.



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