Kempthorne’s New Interior? Mountaintop removal mining and expanded stream dumping

Western Watersheds Blog has located the news the Secretary Dirk Kempthone and his “new honest” Department of Interior has just approved regulations that make the stip mining in Appalachia even worse.



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  1. kt Avatar

    If I recall correctly, Dirk Kempthorne’s one (albeit brief) stint in the real world outside of politics was as a job as a lobbyist or company man of some kind for the phosphate industry in eastern Idaho. Maybe some of his old mining buddies are into leveling the Appalachians these days.

    Oh. And just wait ’til we see what the Kempthorne Interior does for mining phosphate … Can you mountain-top remove phosphate? How dissimilar is phosphate mining to coal mountain top removal?

    REMEMBER – public lands envtl policy under these Idaho yahoos now with Interior and western public lands in their death grips will be dictated MORE THAN EVER by industry.

  2. d. Bailey Hill Avatar

    It is a very sad and dire situation in the ‘Appies’… The folks who live around the mines are slowly dying from the pollution that has permeated the environment. The water that comes through the spigots is dark brown in some places. Most of the people are very poor and do not have the resourses to move anywhere else. And it has gotten even worse with mountaintop removal. There are mountains of ‘slag’ that has been dumped practically in people’s backyards.

    I don’t know about the other states in the east, but in West Virginia the gas and coal industries have a monopoly on big business. It is impossible for new industry to come into the state, because they are ‘detered’ by enormous fees and taxes so they don’t even bother. Gas, coal, etc., has the state by the gonads. The only new business that has located in the state are Feds; the FBI and NW3C. It doesn’t look like it will ever change.

  3. kt Avatar

    And this all is made even more deplorable by this latest Dirk Kempthorne Interior Department resource pillaging move occurring right on the heels of the coal mining atrocity in Utah. Coal mine cave in, drama, deaths. So what does the Bush Interior do? Make it easier to kill more mountain tops and rivers for more filthy coal. Instead of taking a deep breath, not a black lung breath, and thinking about weaning the nation from any dependence on the vile black chunks of ancient swamp life.

    Of course, Kempthorne is also the fellow whose greatest environmental initiative in Idaho – his legacy project – had something to do with gravel mining at Eagle Island State Park. Anyone know how the Kempthorne legacy gravel pitting is going?


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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