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NFC: Fw: Mountaintop Removal Mining's Defeat Is the Environment's Victory!!
TO: All Environmental Defense Activists
FROM: Elizabeth Thompson, Legislative Director and Azur
Moulaert, Member Action Network Project Manager
DATE: Wednesday, December 08, 1999
Mountaintop Removal Mining's Defeat Is the Environment's Victory!!
Thank you, Environmental Defense Activists, for your help in
defeating Senator Robert Byrd's (D-WV) disastrous rider
approving mountaintop removal mining. You overwhelmingly
responded to our action alert on this issue, using your
computer to send nearly 4,000 personalized letters to
President Clinton urging him to veto Senator Byrd's rider
if it passed intact. This grassroots response was enough
to prevent Senator Byrd and the Senate from giving the
mining industry a dangerous exemption from the Clean Water
This was a rare loss for Senator Byrd. All he was able
to get was an unusual and largely symbolic vote (56 to 33)
in the Senate when his proposal was attached to a resolution
that the senators knew would not become law. Senator Paul
Wellstone (D-MN) courageously risked Byrd's wrath by
speaking against the proposal on the Senate floor. The House
of Representatives never even considered the rider. Critical
were the efforts of House members, particularly those
moderate Republicans who consistently vote against anti-
environment riders. Congress's opposition to Byrd's proposal
was, no doubt, a response to their constituents' opposition.
The rider will most likely not be included in the final
version of the FY 2000 appropriations bill, and the Clinton
administration has promised to veto any legislation
Nonetheless, other anti-environmental riders are still
attached to the omnibus appropriations bill, and Senator
Byrd will almost certainly introduce this same proposal
again when Congress reconvenes in January. So we cannot
relax completely. But if Byrd's rider had passed, it would
have set a precedent for other industries to exploit in the
future, and we thank you for not allowing this to happen.
Again thank you for all your help.
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