Obama-mining lobbyist ties scrutinized

For a long time there has been a debate over who accepts money from "evil" lobbyists and that debate has been a potent with the Anti Clinton crowd.  It was won over many of what I refer to as the terminally naive and even some people who should know better, but whose better judgment has been drowned out by the constant screaming of the extreme partisans.

All along those with a more pragmatic voice/view have said that Obama and Edwards take money from Lobbyists, just in a different (IMO "sneakier") way and that they have been patently dishonest on this subject all along.

I have always felt that Obama was way to cute by half with his ethics reform legislation.  As far as I am concerned this proves it.  You all are welcome to make up your own minds of course.
Join me on the other side to read an AP article about how Obama is catering to a lobbyist for the mining industry on his campaign advisory board who has also given him 2300 dollars BTW.

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Barack Obama opposes Federal Mining Reform

He's says it's too burdensome on the industry. Environmental groups, some of which have endorsed him, have pushed for the bill.

President Bush has threatened to veto the reform bill.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071107/ap_o n_el_pr/obama_mining_1;_ylt=AtlgWdWrNB6G jtuZsP8bsPTkbeRF

"RENO, Nev. - Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama opposes a federal mining reform bill because he says it would be too burdensome on the industry and could end up costing miners jobs in Nevada and other states."

I thought in the wake of recent mining accidents, no one would be opposed to having a bill that would protect miners' safety.

I'm baffled by Obama's opposition.

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Take Action Now - Fight Mountaintop Removal

I won't go into the graphic detail, because it's been done over at Kos:
http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2007/8 /23/13323/5464

There's also a nice running series over at Grist: http://gristmill.grist.org/story/2007/8/ 25/04329/9087

Hopefully people have heard that a) mountain top removal mining (ripping the tops off of mountains to scoop out the coal within) is terribly and b) the Bush Administration wants to expand the coal industry's ability to do it.

Seriously, this is a horrible practice which needs to be stopped not expanded. One small silver lining is that the Office of Surface Mining has only proposed expanding coal's power, and it's up for a 60-day comment period.

Environmental Action has set up a site to submit your comment:

http://www.environmental-action.org/envi roaction.asp?id=2435&id4=BLOG

They're not taking e-comments, so all submissions will be printed out by EA and sent in pre-deadline. We're shooting for 20K, so let's hook it up.

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Blair Mountain is History Worth Keeping

(Cross-posted at the new Appalachian Voices blog)

In 1921, in Logan County, West Virginia, federal troops looked through their crosshairs at 1000s of ramshackle coal-miners. On the 1,600-acre Spruce Fork Ridge of Blair Mountain, there was a showdown between an army of at least 7,500 miners and a 3,000-man defensive force "bolstered by private planes that dropped homemade bombs on the miners."

The miners - abused, exploited, and upset by lack of working conditions, living conditions, and lack of collective bargaining ability, had taken up arms. The United Mine Workers of America had been working to organize workers in the coalfields, due to constant oppression and tight control of coal-towns in Appalachia.

The defensive force was led by Logan County Sheriff Don Chafin and other law officers, many of whom were on the coal companies" payrolls.  

The confrontation was the largest armed labor conflict in the nation"s history, with miners seeking the right not only to unionize but also to exercise civil liberties such as freedom of speech and assembly.

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Poison Water in the Coalfields: Part II (people are still dying)

(Cross-posted at the new Appalachian Voices blog)
(Part I)

We've talked about the long-struggling residents of Mingo County in their quest for clean drinking water, which has been polluted by coal sludge. Here's a quick recap...

This is coal sludge in the water supply.

Coal companies have been injecting coal sludge into abandoned long-shaft mines in Mingo County for nearly two decades. The heavy metals and toxins from these illegal dumps have leached into the water supply and now the people of Rawl and Mingo County, WV are fighting for their lives.

Many have liver and kidney problems, various forms of cancer and skin rashes-- health problems associated with long-term exposure to high levels of arsenic, lead, manganese, selenium, and other toxins which scientists have found in residents' well water.

Now, via West Virginia Public Radio, we learn that a man (hero) trying to help these people, named Kevin Thompson is being sued by a subsidary of Massey Energy for...GASP... defamation

Don't believe me? Listen for yourself, or go below to a transcript.

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