February 15, 2011 |
A track hoe sidled up to the modest yellow brick church, paused for a moment to position itself, then drove its teeth into the roof with brutal efficiency. Shingles tumbled into the sanctuary. With the second blow, the wall buckled. The track hoe worked its way across the building, finally smashing the wall where a simple cross was emblazoned in red brick. Within 20 minutes, the First Baptist Church was rubble, ready to be loaded in waiting dump trucks and hauled away. Behind the church, a water tower that serves six households bears the legend "Picher Gorillas since 1918.
January 30, 2003 |
A federal appeals court in Charleston has overturned a ruling prohibiting the government from issuing permits to dispose of waste from mountaintop mining operations into streams. The decision said U.S. District Judge Charles Haden's ruling last year restricting the Army Corps of Engineers was overly broad. The mining industry has increasingly relied on the practice of removing mountaintops to expose coal seams, then dumping the excess rock and dirt into nearby valleys, often covering streams.
May 1, 2002
Regarding the new, drafted rule that would permit coal and hard-rock mining companies to continue piling leftover rock and dirt into nearby streams and valleys (April 26), Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Christie Whitman remarked, "It's not a giveaway to the mining industry. It doesn't allow activity that isn't already underway." Well! How many other practices should we allow because that's the way they're being done, regardless of damage? When something is wrong, saying it's the usual practice doesn't make it right.
September 7, 2008
Re "Sheep are losing ground," Sept. 2 Explaining the plan to cut critical protected habitat for endangered bighorn sheep in half, Jane Hedron, spokeswoman for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, says "critical habitat is habitat considered essential for the recovery of the endangered species. It is not intended to include the entire range of a species." Well, with that kind of logic, why not just reduce the size of the sheep's recovery area to a couple of acres in a zoo somewhere?
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 12, 1994
The death of legislation to reform the 1872 mining law comes as an intolerable shock (Sept. 30). For 122 years, the American people have been royally ripped off by the mining industry. Each year, these giant corporations, many of them foreign, take billions of dollars in gold, silver, copper and other minerals that belong to Americans, and pay nothing to the U.S. Treasury. What do they leave behind on the nation's heritage of public lands? Poisoned drinking water wells, dead rivers, and moonscapes of gaping holes that could bury the Empire State Building.
January 8, 2006
Re "The price of coal," Opinion, Jan. 4 Bathsheba Monk appears to be unable to distinguish between supply and demand. She speaks of "appetites of both the mining industry and consumers with our insatiable greed for energy." Clearly the mining industry principally provides supply, rather than demand. Are cattle ranchers a significant component of hamburger consumption? DANIEL D. BERGER South Pasadena We can grind rocks on Mars using a rover operated from Pasadena.