Category Archives: Politics & Government

Mining Company Sues to Protect their Right to Despoil Nature

The US Environmental Protection Agency has announced proposed restrictions that would essentially block a potentially damaging gold and copper mine in Alaska. In what sounds like a story from The Onion, Pebble Limited Partnership, along with the state of Alaska, are now suing the EPA. According to EPA regional administrator Dennis McLerran, “mining the Pebble deposit would […]

Burma Sanctions Renewed

On Thursday, President Obama renewed US sanctions against Burma, citing “ongoing conflict and human rights abuses in ethnic minority areas, particularly in Rakhine State, and the continued role of the military in the country’s political and economic activities,” in his letter to Congress. As we’ve mentioned time and time again, Burma’s military maintains an active […]

EPA to Consider Blocking Massive Alaska Gold Mine

Well here’s good news. The EPA will announce plans today to examine whether they should use their authority outlined in the Clean Water Act to block the Pebble Mine near Bristol Bay, Alaska. As we’ve talked about before, if this mining project were to proceed it would be the world’s largest open pit mine and […]

Brian Leber on Chicago Public Radio’s Worldview

This afternoon I was interviewed by Jerome McDonnell on WBEZ’s Worldview. Our discussion focused on issues pertaining to the extractive industries with particular mention of the controversial Pebble Mine in Alaska, but touched on a variety of topics ranging from trade agreements to cats! Click here to listen to the interview in full.

When “conflict” isn’t conflict?

The Kimberley Process Intersessional is being held this week and it appears unlikely the KP will reform the definition of “conflict diamonds” this year.  As we’ve mentioned in previous posts, the definition of a “conflict diamond” under the KP’s working language is so limited that it fails to take into account any violence or bloodshed that […]

You’re Invited…So Mark Your Calendar

After last week’s vote in the Illinois House, the Governor will sign the bill officially making same-sex marriage in Illinois legal on November 20th. Illinois will become this nation’s fifteenth state to make same-sex marriage a legal right during a signing ceremony at the University of Illinois at Chicago Forum at 3:30 p.m. Nov. 20. If you’d like to […]

Gay Marriage Bill is One Step Closer!

The Illinois House today approved a bill that will make Illinois the 15th state to legalize same-sex marriage. Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn has said he would sign the bill into law should it reach his desk. The vote was 61-54. It’s been a long road but one we’ve supported every step of the way. To us, […]

We’re Winning the Battle with Your Help

British mining giant Anglo American — the lead company behind the potentially devastating Pebble Mine — has announced they are immediately withdrawing from the project! We’ve been working on this issue since 2008 and thanks to a lot of hard work on the part of several groups and individuals, including you, we’ve accomplished a major […]

White House says Burma Gem Ban to Remain

Today, President Obama re-stated his commitment to human rights in Burma by issuing an Executive Order that maintains the US ban on the import of Burmese ruby and jadeite, despite the softening of sanctions in other areas. This measure to ban Burma’s conflict ruby and jadeite, which was first included in the Tom Lantos Block Burmese […]

Happy Malala Day!

Today is Malala Yousafzai’s 16th birthday. But unlike most girls her age, she’s spending hers at the United Nations. You see, Malala is not your ordinary teenager. Originally from the troubled Swat Valley in Pakistan (see related posts for the gemstone connection) for many years she has been a champion for educating young girls in […]