Celebrate the cycle of life with a Hoop Dance accompanied by Jazz music, both unique to this country.
Today’s article is a combination of news items for both Mining and Fracking, beginning with Mining. Next week, it’s back to the usual schedule (Mining on Tuesdays, Fracking on Thursdays).
MINING THE EARTH
*AK. The Pebble Mine is back in the news as a federal judge “temporarily blocked” the EPA’s efforts to stop the mine, following Northern Dynasty Minerals’ objections to the process.
*KY. A judge has ruled that the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet is “so understaffed they can no longer effectively enforce clean-water rules.” He also tossed a “$310,000 proposed agreement” between the E&E Cabinet and the Frasure Creek mining company—and ruled that certain environmental organizations be included in resolutions.
*NY. Hedge funds are reportedly betting on the failure of big coal in the US. 8 major coal companies, on average, were down 29% on the NYSE this year. Hedge funds bet “against the stock and debt of mining firms . . ., then snap . . . up the bonds when their prices fall as low as 40 cents on the dollar.” When/if things improve, the funds will sell the mines at a profit.
*TX. Parts of TX’s clean air plan have been rejected by the US Environmental Protection Agency. which, instead, thinks TX should “require 15 coal-burning generating units at eight Texas power plants to install or improve controls that limit emissions of sulfur dioxide.” TX’s Commission on Environmental Quality had proposed 2155 as the date for TX to have achieved clear skies. Seriously.
*WV. Massey Energy ex-CEO Don Blankenship, pleaded “Not Guilty” last week to federal charges of conspiracy, lying to investigators and not complying with safety and health regulations. He was ordered to not contact family members of coal miners killed in the April 2010 explosion at the Upper Big Branch Mine. Possibility of 31 years in prison, currently out on $5 million bond. Gag order imposed on Blankenship, mine-worker family members and lawyers.
*Africa. Groupe Forrest International of Belgium “has consistently lied about the bulldozing of hundreds of homes in the Democratic Republic of the Congo . . . and has denied justice to those affected”. Groupe Forrest operated the Luiswishi copper and cobalt mine in Kawama, Katanga until 2012. Apparently there is involvement of the state in the destruction and cover-up.
*Australia. Gina Rinehart, head of Hancock Prospecting, has plunked down $10 billion to develop the Roy Hill iron ore mine. She’s complaining about the “negativity” toward mining which, she says, is “critical to Australia’s future.” Presumably her $10 billion investment means mining is critical to her future, too.
*Australia. Pssst, Gina Rinehart: BIS Shrapnel, an “economic forecaster”, says mining investment in Australia is to take the worst fall ever, and soon.
*Australia. Another mining mogul, Clive Palmer, ran for office in 2013 and allegedly misused in the process $12 million in Chinese-government funds meant for iron mine investment. Why’d he do that? He’s supposedly worth $1.22 billion, and he’s amusing himself these days by building full-sized replicas of Jurassic Park and the Titanic. He’s even named a political party after himself.
*China. Following quickly on the heels of the G20 climate summit, China announced “it would cap coal use by 2020 [at] 4.2 billion tonnes”.
*China. Iron ore’s down 48%, oil down 20%, coking coal down 20%, copper down 7%. What a few months ago looked like great profits now looks like “a billion-dollar black hole” as China’s commodity prices nose-dive.
A QUICK WHIRL AROUND THE FRACKING WORLD
*USA. The US Navy has announced it can turn seawater into fuel—at $3 to $6 a gallon!
*USA. The “state department climate change envoy, Todd Stern, said the world would have no choice but to forgo developing reserves of oil, coal and gas” if global warming is to be stopped.