Here's a conundrum for an Alaska politician: the proposed Pebble Mine project in Alaska would mine gold and copper, theoretically providing work for Alaskans, but it would also pollute wetlands and streams in the Bristol Bay area, which is home to the world's largest sockeye salmon population, producing nearly half of the sockeye salmon the world consumes and employing 14,000 good Alaskans. What do you do? I kid, of course, because it's not really that hard: the EPA is taking public comments on Pebble Mine, and Sum of Us helps you tell the EPA to reject the Pebble Mine project. The EPA previously took public comments on the project (before the mining corporation Rio Tinto, facing popular pressure, divested from the project) and nearly three-quarters of Americans supported the EPA's proposal to protect Bristol Bay. How did Alaskans feel? 85% of them supported protections for Bristol Bay. And how do right-wingers squeal BUT WHATZ ABOUTZ TEH JOBZ!!!!!! when the salmon industry already provides thousands of jobs? Of course, when the right talks about jobs, they're really talking about some mining industry CEO's ability to gild the plumbing in his seventh vacation home. Keep that in mind whenever you hear them say it.
Meanwhile, if you've missed previous opportunities to tell the EPA to force gas drilling corporations to disclose the chemicals they use in fracking, then Public Citizen still helps you do that. Why do you suppose the 2005 energy bill passed by Congress and signed into law by Mr. Bush specifically exempts practicers of hydrofracturing from Clean Water Act mandates? And why do you suppose gas drilling corporations are in a huff declaring that the chemicals they use in fracking are a "trade secret"? You could be excused for thinking that these corporations simply don't want you to know that they're injecting poison into our drinking water. And nobody's "trade secret" trumps our right to clean water -- when we have clean water, we have a level of health our ancestors from 150 years ago could only dream of, and when our water becomes brackish, or gelatinous, or flammable, we don't. As with antibiotic abuse, greed threatens to send health care back several centuries. We can't let that happen -- we should ban fracking outright, but since our all-of-the-above energy-policy President has no stomach for that, we should demand disclosure, because gas drillers won't be able to frack once everyone knows the truth about what they're doing.