Crisis in USPS Funding, Comment on Mining in Okefenokee (Again)
- United States Parcel Service in Danger of Closing
- For quite some time there are those who would like nothing better than for the United States Postal Service to fail. Why? Profit. They see a business opportunity. One need to look no further than ALEC for the forces lining up behind this attempt to privatize our postal service. Given that USPS has a high percentage of minority employment we would also wonder about the undercurrent of racism in their efforts. The USPS has provided a path to the middle-class for thousands of people from various communities of color. This could be devastating.
The USPS is a vital institution for our communities and needs to be made whole again. However, during this time of pandemic crisis, they are being challenged by falling revenue (as are many businesses) to the extent that they could close. We cannot afford this kind of disruption.
- The United Postal Workers Union has been working to shore up the USPS during discussions on various stimulus bills but were only offered a line of credit that would further weaken this important institution.
- We have additional concerns regarding the health of the postal service:
- -jobs lost, particularly in minority communities (46.8% of postal service employees)
- -vote by mail. It is imperative that as we go forward that our ability to utilize the postal service to shore up the foundation of democracy be protected
- -further disruption to small business that depends upon the USPS for marketing and shipping
- -impact on rural communities (commercialization will only make rural mail services less affordable).
- Please call your representative and senators and ask them to include a robust financial investment in the United States Postal Service that will give them the ability to maneuver in this moment. We cannot afford to lose this vital service and institution. Find your elected officials at https://openstates.org/
Comment Now on Mining in the Okefenokee Swamp, The public comment period ends on Monday. April 12th
While most of the country is trying to cope with the spread of COVID-19, the company that plans on building a massive heavy minerals sand mine next to the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge quietly presses on. An Alabama-based company, Twin Pines Minerals, LLC, wants to mine 12,000 acres of Trail Ridge where it forms the eastern border of the Okefenokee Swamp. Among the concerns of mining so close to one of the largest wilderness areas east of the Mississippi is that hydrologic and water quality changes will damage the Swamp, as well as the St. Marys and Suwannee Rivers that flow from its waters. After the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers told the company that a full environmental impact statement (EIS) would be required to evaluate the adverse impacts of the mine, Twin Pines withdrew its application. Twin Pines has now resubmitted an application for the first phase of the mine as a “demonstration project” spanning 898 acres in the hopes of avoiding the scientific scrutiny and public comments that go with an EIS.
The Corps now needs to hear from you – again – to save the threatened Okefenokee. Submit your concerns to the Corps and ask them to deny Twin Pines a toehold on Trail Ridge and request a full environmental impact statement that includes a peer-reviewed groundwater flow model of the Swamp and the mining site itself. Comments are currently due by April 12, 2020.
Help us stop this ill-conceived operation by sending in your comments to the Corps of Engineers today.
You can view a conversation about this proposal on a Zoom recording from the Georgia Conservancy.
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