MAC: Mines and Communities

Bush Administration Declares War on Environment and the Poor

Published by MAC on 2003-01-17

Bush Administration Declares War on Environment and the Poor

During 2002 the US government launched an unprecedented series of measures to repeal or dilute laws seeking to protect the nation's environment - and many of its poorest peoples - from pollution and desecration. In response, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has issued a damning report on this legislative "rollback", outlined below.

At the same time, the administration has proposed the less-publicised introduction of water pollution "credits" - similar to those used in carbon emmissions trading - which the NRDC alleges will also contribute to the destructive burden bourne by rural and Indigenous communities. Control of acid mine drainage risks being compromised even further than at present.

The cue for this massive reversal of environmental improvement to the world's most mined and also mineral-exploiting state has come principally from the oil, gas and hard rock mining industries backed by their political supporters. One of these is the governor of Nevada, a state already suffering up to half a million abandoned mine sites, of which around 15,000 may currently be causing "irreparable harm". (see below)

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