Today’s opining on the public discourse.
The Interior Department has advanced a proposal that would ease restrictions on dumping mountaintop mining waste near rivers and streams, modifying protections that have been in place – though often circumvented by mining companies – for a quarter-century.
The department’s Office of Surface Mining issued a final environmental impact analysis Friday on the proposed rule change, which has been under consideration for four years. It has been a top priority of the surface mining industry.
It sets the stage for a final regulation, one of the last major environmental initiatives of the Bush administration, after 30 days of additional public comment and interagency review.
The proposed rule would rewrite a regulation enacted in 1983 by the Reagan administration that bars mining companies from dumping huge waste piles – known as “valley fills” – from surface mining within 100 feet of any intermittent or perennial stream if the disposal adversely impacts water quality or quantity.
The revisions would require mining companies to minimize the debris they dump as much as possible, but also would let them skirt the 100-foot protective buffer requirement if compliance is determined to be impossible.
“The new rule will allow coal companies to dump massive waste piles directly into streams, permanently burying them,” warned Joan Mulhern of Earthjustice, among the environmental groups that have fought the practice known as mountaintop removal mining widely used in Appalachia, especially in West Virginia, Kentucky and parts of Virginia and Tennessee.
This new rule, my darlings, would apply everywhere. If you don’t want your streams and valleys filled with mine waste and toxic sludge, I’d suggest you get in contact with Earthjustice and see what ye olde grassroots needs to do. You can also sign a lovely petition for the Clean Water Act, which may help mitigate some of the damage, and lodge your public comment on this ridiculous new fantasy survey here. If anyone knows of other actions being taken, let me know in comments.
There’s a lot at stake:
If these rules go through and are allowed to stand in the new administration we are looking at more pollution in the sky from burning the coal. We are looking at far more pollution in streams and rivers, waterways that are not just local to the states I list but feed into larger rivers, carrying the pollution further and further from its source. Pollution in the ground waters. Mountain tops removed with nothing left but detritus and waste.
Let’s put a stop to it while we still have some unspoiled natural scenery left.
While Bush is busy trying to divide up the country among mining interests, the McCain/Palin campaign is chugging full steam ahead on dividing the country in other ways:
It’s all about division. For Sarah Palin, it’s about dividing “pro-America” communities from those parts of the nation she’s less fond of. For Michelle Bachmann, it’s about dividing “un-American” members of Congress from the rest of the chamber.
And for the McCain campaign, it’s about dividing individual swing states, pitting one region against another.
On MSNBC this morning, McCain adviser Nancy Pfotenhauer asserted that “real Virginia” does not include Northern Virginia: “I certainly agree that Northern Virginia has gone more Democratic…. But the rest of the state — real Virginia if you will — I think will be very responsive to Senator McCain’s message.”
MSNBC host Kevin Cork gave Pfotenhauer a chance to revise her answer, telling her: “Nancy, I’m going to give you a chance to climb back off that ledge — did you say ‘real Virginia’?”
But Pfotenhauer didn’t budge, and instead dug a deeper hole: “Real Virginia, I take to be, this part of the state that’s more Southern in nature, if you will.
This comes just two weeks after Joe McCain, the senator’s brother and campaign surrogate, referred to Virginia’s two most northern counties as “communist country.”
So. According to McCain, Palin et al, if you don’t support them, you’re not pro-American, and your region’s not a “real” part of the country. Excuse me a second.
Look, you cocksucking motherfucking pieces of shit, I am godsdamned sick and bloody tired of being told I’m a fake fucking American by two fake fucking mavericks! Shove it up your right-wing asses! And next time you want to question our patriotism, do it to our fucking faces. All 152,722,926 of them.
Allo, loves. I’m back. Sorry ’bout that – just felt a sudden urge to scream out the window. The number of Americans being told they’re fake may be a little bit high, but I figure that with Obama polling at 50%, it’s safe enough to say that half of America is, according to the McCain/Palin standards, not real.
And what happens when someone like Rep. Michelle “McCarthy” Bachmann riles us up by calling our Congresscritters “un-American?” Heh:
The last few hours have been nothing short of astounding. Since Congresswoman Michele Bachmann appeared on MSNBC’s Hardball earlier tonight, there’s been a deluge of support unlike anything we have seen. We are so grateful to the Daily Kos community and others who’ve sounded the alarm on Bachmann’s extremist, shameful rhetoric and pitched in with whatever they can to help end her tenure in Congress.
Our phones haven’t stopped ringing. Many have called in to say they’re sorry they can only send money and wish they could be here to help. We want you to know what a difference your funds are making and that, thanks in part to your help, we are confident that we will be able to win this race. We are preparing to get out the vote on an unprecedented scale, and with supporters like you we will have the resources we need to get the job done.
I am both hopeful and humbled at the reminder you gave me tonight – that in our country’s darkest times, it is the strength and belief and action of ordinary Americans that ultimately brings about the change we need. From the hardworking folks in Minnesota’s Sixth District to all of you: we are proud to have you on our side.
And how much did we raise in 24 hours? Oh, you know, only about $438,346.57.
If you’d like to further enjoy the dogpile, there’s a signature drive going on to have Michelle Bachmann censured by Congress. Let’s keep the pressure on – this woman’s just as insane as the McCain/Palin combo, and sure as shit doesn’t belong in Congress.
To top off your action events for the weekend, if you’d like to double your money and protect gay marriage in California, Daily Kos is throwing a Hell to Pay event in opposition to Proposition 8.
Together, my darlings, we can turn this country around. Enjoy!