Newsflash:
Campaigns Share TPP with your Daily Newspaper Stop Global Warming BREAKING: Peabody Loggers Break Ground on Controversial Shawnee Hills Strip Mine -- Without Mining Permit
Tuesday, 11 March 2014 22:29

BREAKING: Peabody Loggers Break Ground on Controversial Shawnee Hills Strip Mine -- Without Mining Permit

Written by  Jeff Biggers | Huffington Post
Rocky Branch mining site, Saline County, Illinois Rocky Branch mining site, Saline County, Illinois Photos by Georgia de la Garza

With mounting violations and administrative errors, will Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan finally intervene in the most controversial strip mine in southern Illinois?

This question is being raised today by farmers and residents fighting to save their historic community from destruction in Saline County, as out-of-state loggers began to set up their equipment on a Rocky Branch strip mining site, as part of Peabody Energy's expanding mining operations in the Shawnee hills of southern Illinois -- operating once again without an Illinois Department of Natural Resources mining permit.

Two months ago, in fact, federal intervention forced the state DNR to issue a Notice of Violation for Peabody's unabashed pre-mining illegal logging operations. While logging was halted, DNR officials told the local media that the violation was "not expected to derail Peabody's chances for a permit."

Even without that permit, Peabody's loggers are back.

Faced with the toxic fallout from nearby blasting, fly rock, water contamination, farm and property value loss, and flooding, Rocky Branch residents turned out in overwhelming numbers last month at an Illinois EPA hearing -- as well as earlier DNR hearings -- against the Peabody mine expansion.

At the February hearing in Harrisburg, Rocky Branch resident Judy Kellen spoke out against such violations and backroom permit dealings: " "When there are this many questions, without any answers, it makes you wonder what's going on behind closed doors. We call on Governor Quinn and Attorney General Madigan to come to Saline County for themselves, to see the price we are paying for this mine."

2014-03-11-log2.jpg
Rocky Branch mining site, Saline County, Illinois. Photos by Georgia de la Garza


The logging equipment set up by an Indiana firm -- despite mine company claims to use local businesses -- is also based in a 200-acre Shawnee forest habitat that residents say include endangered Indiana bats.

Despite an apparent phone call by DNR officials to Rocky Branch residents informing of an impending permit for the mine, DNR spokeperson Chris McCloud confirmed in an email today that the Rocky Branch mine permit is under final review.

At the DNR hearing in December, residents complained that Illinois agency officials refused to accept documentation and photographs of blasting and pollution violations.

Here's a video overview of the Rocky Branch and Cottage Grove mining operations in Saline County:


)

 

 

 

Original article on Huffington Post

Read 6020 times

Trans Pacific Partnership Fast Track - Where Does Your Legislator Stand

Click your state to see your Senators and Representatives

Green = Most Legislators Oppose Fast Track, Yellow = Some Opposition, Orange = Oppose TPP, Gray = Unknown
DeLauro 13 - Signed 2013 DeLauro/Miller letter
Pocan - Signed Freshman Letter Opposing Fast Track
W/M - Signed Ways and Means Letter opposing TPP
Gibson - Signed Rep. Chris Gibson letter opposing TPP
SOPA - Oppose Stop Online Piracy Act - voted against
Currency - Oppose Currency Manipulation (Signed Michaud Letter)
Textile - Oppose changes to "First Yarn" (Signed Textile Industry Letter)

Published Letters to the Editor

  • Pacific trade pact would do more harm than good: Guest opinion

    If government and big business representatives from 12 countries spend years negotiating a massive new trade bill but don't tell the general public about it, does it still go into effect? Can it still accelerate the flow of American jobs to countries that have abysmal records on human rights and labor rights, countries like Vietnam? Can it still spur a race to the bottom where Americans forfeit their moral, environmental and employment standards for larger trade deficits of cheap imported goods and minimum wage employment at home?

    Written on Thursday, 12 December 2013 00:00 Read more...

Join our Twitter Storm

If you have a Twitter account you can help stop Fast Track on the TPP. Sign-in to your Twitter account and copy and paste the Tweets from our Twitter storm. Or you can copy your favorite Tweet and then click on the map and Tweet your legislator.

Twitter Storm Tweets for Tuesday, January 28th @ 9pm Eastern

Tweets for the special State of the Union Twitter Storm will be posted on January 28th at 8pm EST. Check back for the new Tweets.

Find Your Member of Congress

Click here to quickly find your member of Congress by putting in your home address. This site also features a one-click link to the same information in Spanish

ButtonFindElectedOfficials

Then call and ask them to oppose Fast Track on the Trans Pacific Partnership.

Sample script is below.

Script

“I'm a constituent, and I am strongly opposed to my representative giving away Congress’ constitutional authority to control our trade policy. We send people to Congress to stand up for us, not give away their power to stop more American job offshoring and protect us from dangerous imported food that doesn’t meet our safety standards. This latest so-called trade deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), would not only do that - but also ban Buy American and increase our medicine prices. That’s why it’s crucial that Congress not give away its authority to make sure every provision of TPP is in our interest before this massive deal can be signed. Good trade deals don’t need to be railroaded through Congress using Fast Track. I hope my representative will commit to opposing this outrageous legislation.”

Email Your Senators and Rep - Say No On Fast Track and TPP

Send an email directly to your Senators and Representatives courtesy of our partners at CWA. Enter your zip code and your members are automatically selected.

Button-EmailYourRep2

Sign the Petition - Sen. Sanders Run as a Democrat in 2016

Button-SandersPetition

Lori Wallach on the TPP from PDA Progressive Roundtable

Progressive Roundtable with Reps. Ellison and Pocan and Lori Wallach on TPP

TPP: The Biggest Threat to the Internet You've Probably Never Heard Of

Flush the TPP

Congress only has one more week in session this year, the week of December 9. So far our pressure to stop the TPP has been working. Visit Flush the TPP for calling scripts and links to Members of the Ways and Means Committee.

Flush the TPP