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NFC: Fw: [Updates] Call now to stop the mining rider!

more on mountaintop removal mining.

-----Original Message-----
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

Editorial section.

          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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