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NFC: Fw: [Updates] Call now to stop the mining rider!
more on mountaintop removal mining.
From: Ami Grace [mailto:cleanwaternt at igc_org]
Sent: Wednesday, November 10, 1999 2:30 PM
To: cleanwaterinfo at igc_topica.com
Subject: Call now to stop the mining rider!
As the fight over an appropriations bill rider that would exempt coal
mining from the Clean Water Act heats up, we need for everyone in the
CWN to make a call to your Senators, Representatives and White House
Tell them to oppose anti-environmental riders that exempt the mining
industry from the Clean Water Act.
Call Congress at: 202-224-3121 and ask the switchboard to put you
through to your Rep. or Senator. Talk to their appropriations staff or
environmental legislative staff.
Call the White House comment line at 202-456-1414 and speak to an
operator. If you didn't read yesterday's action alert on this topic,
open it up for more details.
Check out today's New York Times editorial!
New York Times
November 10, 1999
Environmental Sneak Attack
This is the time of year when members of Congress scramble to promote
pet projects even if it means delaying adjournment. One new roadblock
standing in the way of completing the federal budget is a last-minute
effort by Senator Robert Byrd to attach a rider to one of the final
spending bills that would favor strip mining in his home state of
West Virginia. The White House, which has vowed to veto
anti-environmental measures pushed by Republicans, has merely frowned
on the Byrd rider. President Clinton should make clear that the
administration does not have two standards, one for Republicans and one
for powerful Democrats like Mr. Byrd, and that it will veto any bill to
which the Byrd measure is attached.
The Byrd amendment would in effect overturn a decision by a federal
judge in West Virginia that found that the state's mining companies,
with the complicity of the federal government, had for years violated
federal clean water and surface mining laws by dumping rock waste into
valleys and streams. The judge, Charles H. Haden 2nd, stayed the
decision pending appeal.
The ruling would not shut down existing mining operations. But it could
hamper them in the future by greatly limiting the areas where the
companies can dump waste. The Byrd amendment would allow the dumping to
proceed. The White House says that such an amendment is unnecessary
while the judge's decision is being appealed. But that is less
than a clear threat to veto the bill. Some environmentalists fear that
Mr.Clinton is trying to placate Mr. Byrd, a party ally who stood by him
during the impeachment battle. Mr. Byrd is also the senior Democrat on
the Senate Appropriations
Other important budget disagreements remain. The administration is right
to hold firm on its demand for money to help states hire teachers and
police officers. Yet another stumbling block to adjournment is a
Republican effort to hold the payment of back United Nations dues
hostage to an agreementby the administration to withdraw support for aid
to family planning groups abroad that lobby for changes in their
countries' abortion laws. The White House should stand firm. But at the
moment, its top priority is to make it clear that it will resist further
encroachment on the nation's environmental laws.
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