MAC: Mines and Communities

Us Update

Published by MAC on 2007-02-10

US update

10th February 2007

The Bush regime's attitude to scientific evidence on climate change is "Orwellian", says former presidential candidate,John Kerry, as a top scientist exposes further the "near criminal" degree to which the administration has doctored the evidence.

One of the country's biggest carbon culprits, Duke Energy (while ostensibly urging the government to "address" climate change), reckons no major restrictions will be placed on emissions in the next three years and that its own businesses won't suffer from higher costs for at least another four.

The state of New Jersey is suing the USEPA (Environmental Protection Agency) for failing to prevent a polluting coal-fired power plant being constructed in neighbouring Pennsylvania.

You'd have to go far to find a mining and metals refining company which has caused more damage to its home country than Asarco. In 1999 Grupo Mexico bought out Asarco, promptly incorporating its Peruvian mines, then letting Asarco slip into bankruptcy. Now, it's rumoured that Glencore - by far the world's most profit-taking metals trader - is poised to bid for Asarco and do what this secretive Swiss giant does best (worst): effect another bout of asset-stripping.

Meanwhile, Asarco's victims - who run into many thousands, both in the US and Peru, are claiming compensation (along with fifteen US states) - not least from asbestos poisoning. The bill currently runs at over six billion dollars - five times what Grupo Mexico paid to acquire the company.

Officials in the Texas country of Kleberg are angered that a major mining company, employing "in-situ leaching" of uranium, hasn't yet cleaned up its old sites.

We are sad to report the death last weekend of Roscoe Churchill. The tribute (below) to him and his work, made by professor Al Gedicks, goes beyond the mere measure of the man and recognises the extraordinary tenacity and degree of cooperation he and his late wife, Evelyn, helped develop between diverse Wisconsin groups - tribes, farmers, environmentalists, lawyers, tourism and conservation interests - that led to the passing of a vital piece of legislation on mining (which has never been replicated elsewhere).

Although Rio Tinto/Kennecott was not stopped from opening the Flambeau mine in Wisconsin, neither it, nor any other mining company, has set foot in the state since.

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