Interior Department employees, check your in-boxes for a new message: In February, the nonprofit Campaign to Protect America’s Lands sent e-mails to almost 60,000 of the department’s 70,000 employees, asking them to call a confidential hotline — 1-866-LANDTIP — and report proposed anti-environmental regulations (HCN, 1/19/04: Coming Soon to a Wilderness Near You).
November, Montana voters may get to decide if they want more
cyanide in the state. The Montana Mining Association is
trying to put an initiative on the ballot to repeal a 1998 state
ban on cyanide leaching in gold and silver mines — a process
that removes bits of metal from tons of rock ore. The association
claims the initiative will "bolster" the state’s economy, but
critics point to Colorado’s Summitville Mine, where a spill
from a cyanide leaching pond deadened 17 miles of the Alamosa River
(HCN, 9/29/03: Reweaving a river).
calm the beef-eating public after a Washington cow tested positive
for mad cow disease last year, the U.S. Department of
Agriculture has said the disease was discovered as a result of its
"downer" cow testing program. But eyewitnesses to the infected
cow’s slaughter say it wasn’t a downer after all, and
the disease was discovered in a healthy-looking cow as part of a
separate, random testing contract (HCN, 1/19/03: Have another
pig-brain/beef-blood/chicken-spine burger). Now, Reps. Tom Davis,
R-Va., and Henry Waxman, D-Calif., are investigating the incident,
and in a letter to Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman, wrote that
this casts doubt on the "credibility of the USDA."
Forget NAFTA and Bush’s flailing economic plans
— just blame environmentalists for the loss of jobs
in America. The House Resources Subcommittee on Energy and
Minerals, chaired by Rep. Barbara Cubin, R-Wyo., held a hearing in
March to investigate job loss in the energy and metal industries.
At the hearing, Cubin blamed the Endangered Species Act, "frivolous
lawsuits" and oil and gas permitting delays. Ken Wonstolen with the
Colorado Oil and Gas Association griped that enviros are holding up
drilling projects in Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and New