Archive for mining industry

Judge throws out rule forcing oil and mining companies to disclose payments to foreign governments


that's oil folks smaller

Gee, what a surprise: A victory for Big Oil.

Via The Hill:

A federal judge on Tuesday threw out a controversial Securities and Exchange Commission rule that would force oil and mining companies to disclose payments to foreign governments.

The decision is a victory for oil industry and business groups that claim the requirements would have imposed costly burdens and forced disclosure of commercially sensitive information. [...]

The decision is a defeat for human rights groups, who say the rule provides “transparency” that can help prevent corruption and ensure the public benefits from energy development in Africa and elsewhere.

The rule was required under the 2010 Dodd-Frank law, and the American Petroleum Institute (API) and Chamber of Commerce couldn't be happier that it was tossed.

It's safe to say that this time around, the GOP won't refer to the decision as judicial activism.


Wisconsin mining company helped write a Republican bill that would streamline regulations


playing footsie

Anyone else sensing a familiar odor reminiscent of ALEC? No, not Baldwin, he probably smells pretty good. I'm referring to another ALEC  (American Legislative Exchange Council), an organization of state legislators that favors federalism and conservative public policy solutions. They literally write legislation for Republican Congress members, who then do whatever they can to pass it.

Which brings us to Wisconsin, where records made public by the liberal group One Wisconsin Now show that mining officials requested modifications on a bill before it was introduced. And naturally, those modifications would make life easier for themselves, their industry, and their wallets. Because you know how annoying those pesky regulations can be, the ones that provide for people's, you know, lives and safety.

America first!

Once again, under Gov. Scott Walker's watch, we see all kinds of footsies being played:

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Drafting records show a company looking to open a huge iron mine in far northwestern Wisconsin made suggestions on language in a Republican bill that would streamline Wisconsin’s mining regulations.

Paging Gov. Walker, Koch brothers on line one! Let's take a trip back in time to 2011: The ALEC-Koch pipeline to Wisconsin Legislators and the Mining Bill:

The Mining Bill released by Assembly Republicans late last week is clearly a case of Legislative patronage to a corporate sponsor-- in this case, Gogebic Taconite Mining, LLC. Not surprising, but more disturbing, are the covert links to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), Koch Industries, and closer to home, Hamilton Consulting in Madison.

All three have created an expressway of influence to Wisconsin Legislation for co-opting state resources – creating record profits for themselves (which they will ultimately pay little tax on) and untold burdens on middle class taxpayers and the environment.


"I'm tired of hearing right- wingers who want to commercialize everything in their sights."




Today's L.A. Times letters to the editor, Part 2, because our voices matter:

This land is our land

Re "Free the American West," Opinion, March 7

Robert Nelson betrays his allegiances with his punctuation: "public" land, "progressive" era — he treats them derisively, barely cloaking his contempt that these are indeed public birthrights of all Americans saved only by the foresight and constant vigilance of the American people and progressive leaders like Teddy Roosevelt.

According to Nelson, some of our land has great commercial value while, apparently, a smaller sub-set has "national importance." An even smaller sliver is "environmentally special."

Nelson tells us that timber-rich forests are primarily useful for commercial uses. Not a peep about the importance of a healthy watershed or the benefits of carbon sequestration, biodiversity and vibrant tourism.

Obviously he is a shill for oil, gas, lumber and mining interests that already get ridiculously cheap access and use of public land and extraction of the wealth within it. I hope he enjoys his public pension well East of the Mississippi.

Lee Myles



The ideas outlined by Nelson would not "free" the American West. They would, in fact, have the opposite effect, locking up millions of acres that are currently publicly accessible.

The reason we are allowed to hunt, fish, hike, etc. on these lands is because they are federal land; federal land is public land (except for military and Indian reservations).

Does the author really think that counties or states have the money to manage these lands? Of course not. They would be sold to private interests, which would mean subdivisions, mining, drilling and logging on these lands, along with high fences and signs reading "Private Property, Keep Out! "

As America's population grows, we need more public land, not less.

Pete Aniello



Enough with the greed! I'm tired of hearing right- wingers who want to commercialize everything in their sights. If left unchecked, they would turn this great country into an urban jungle. Leave us our American West, please.

Steve Joyce



"Members of Congress cannot find it in their hearts to find a humane solution" to immigration


Today's L.A. Times letter to the editor, because our voices matter:

Mining gap

Re "Mining ban at Grand Canyon," June 21

How is it that our great Congress, the maker of laws, has allowed an 1872 law permitting even foreign-owned mining companies to make claims and have the rights to mine copper, gold, uranium and other metals on federal land without competitive bidding and without paying royalties?

But when it comes to honest, hardworking illegal immigrants who want to make a better life for their families and contribute through the taxes they do pay, members of Congress cannot find it in their hearts to find a humane solution.

Sheila Finley

Santa Monica