Panel Discussion: Privatization v. Public Good and the Upcoming March for Our Lives on March 24

SPECIAL REPORT: Organized Labor: Resurgent or On the Ropes?

SPECIAL REPORT: Neoliberalism Comes Home: Connecticut's Water Under Privatization Threat

SPECIAL REPORT: Can There Be Food Justice Under Capitalism?

SPECIAL REPORT: Resistance Round Table – Feb. 10, 2018

Award-winning Investigative Journalist Robert Parry (1949-2018)

Award-winning investigative journalist and founder/editor of, Robert Parry has passed away. His ground-breaking work uncovering Reagan-era dirty wars in Central America and many other illegal and immoral policies conducted by successive administrations and U.S. intelligence agencies, stands as an inspiration to all in journalists working in the public interest.

Robert had been a regular guest on our Between The Lines and Counterpoint radio shows -- and many other progressive outlets across the U.S. over four decades.

His penetrating analysis of U.S. foreign policy and international conflicts will be sorely missed, and not easily replaced. His son Nat Parry writes a tribute to his father: Robert Parry’s Legacy and the Future of Consortiumnews.

Thank you for donating

If you've made a donation and wish to receive thank you gifts for your donation, be sure to send us your mailing address via our Contact form.

See our thank you gifts for your donation.

The Resistance Starts Now!

Between The Lines' coverage and resource compilation of the Resistance Movement

SPECIAL REPORT: "The Resistance - Women's March 2018 - Hartford, Connecticut" Jan. 20, 2018

Selected speeches from the Women's March in Hartford, Connecticut 2018, recorded and produced by Scott Harris

SPECIAL REPORT: "No Fracking Waste in CT!" Jan. 14, 2018

SPECIAL REPORT: "Resistance Round Table: The Unraveling Continues..." Jan. 13, 2018

SPECIAL REPORT: "Capitalism to the ash heap?" Richard Wolff, Jan. 2, 2018

SPECIAL REPORT: Maryn McKenna, author of "Big Chicken", Dec. 7, 2017

SPECIAL REPORT: Nina Turner's address, Working Families Party Awards Banquet, Dec. 14, 2017

SPECIAL REPORT: Mic Check, Dec. 12, 2017

SPECIAL REPORT: Resistance Roundtable, Dec. 9, 2017

SPECIAL REPORT: On Tyranny - one year later, Nov. 28, 2017

SPECIAL REPORT: Mic Check, Nov. 12, 2017

SPECIAL REPORT: Resistance Roundtable, Nov. 11, 2017

SPECIAL REPORT: Rainy Day Radio, Nov. 7, 2017

SPECIAL REPORT: Rainy Day Radio, Nov. 7, 2017

SPECIAL REPORT: Resisting U.S. JeJu Island military base in South Korea, Oct. 24, 2017

SPECIAL REPORT: John Allen, Out in New Haven

2017 Gandhi Peace Awards

Promoting Enduring Peace presented its Gandhi Peace Award jointly to renowned consumer advocate Ralph Nader and BDS founder Omar Barghouti on April 23, 2017.

Subscribe to our Weekly Summary & receive our FREE Resist Trump window cling

resist (Car window cling)

Email us with your mailing address at to receive our "Resist Trump/Resist Hate" car window cling!


who helped make our 25th anniversary with Jeremy Scahill a success!

For those who missed the event, or were there and really wanted to fully absorb its import, here it is in video

Jeremy Scahill keynote speech, part 1 from PROUDEYEMEDIA on Vimeo.

Jeremy Scahill keynote speech, part 2 from PROUDEYEMEDIA on Vimeo.

Between The Lines on Stitcher


Between The Lines Presentation at the Left Forum 2016

"How Do We Build A Mass Movement to Reverse Runaway Inequality?" with Les Leopold, author of "Runaway Inequality: An Activist's Guide to Economic Justice,"May 22, 2016, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, The City University of New York, 860 11th Ave. (Between 58th and 59th), New York City. Between The Lines' Scott Harris and Richard Hill moderated this workshop. Listen to the audio/slideshows and more from this workshop.

Listen to audio of the plenary sessions from the weekend.

JEREMY SCAHILL: Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker "Dirty Wars"

Listen to the full interview (30:33) with Jeremy Scahill, an award-winning investigative journalist with the Nation Magazine, correspondent for Democracy Now! and author of the bestselling book, "Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army," about America's outsourcing of its military. In an exclusive interview with Counterpoint's Scott Harris on Sept. 16, 2013, Scahill talks about his latest book, "Dirty Wars, The World is a Battlefield," also made into a documentary film under the same title, and was nominated Dec. 5, 2013 for an Academy Award in the Best Documentary Feature category.

Listen to Scott Harris Live on WPKN Radio

Between The Lines' Executive Producer Scott Harris hosts a live, weekly talk show, Counterpoint, from which some of Between The Lines' interviews are excerpted. Listen every Monday evening from 8 to 10 p.m. EDT at (Follows the 5-7 minute White Rose Calendar.)

Counterpoint in its entirety is archived after midnight ET Monday nights, and is available for at least a year following broadcast in WPKN Radio's Archives.

You can also listen to full unedited interview segments from Counterpoint, which are generally available some time the day following broadcast.

Subscribe to Counterpoint bulletins via our subscriptions page.

Between The Lines Blog  BTL Blog

"The Rogue World Order: Connecting the Dots Between Trump, Flynn, Bannon, Spencer, Dugin Putin," by Anna Manzo (GlobalHealing), Daily Kos, Feb. 13, 2017

"Widespread Resistance Begins to Trump's Muslim Travel Ban at U.S. Airports," by Anna Manzo (GlobalHealing), Daily Kos, Jan. 28, 2017

"MSNBC Editor: Women's March is a Revival of the Progressive Movement," by Anna Manzo (GlobalHealing), Daily Kos, Jan. 24, 2017

"Cornering Trump," by Reginald Johnson, Jan. 19, 2017

"Free Leonard Peltier," by Reginald Johnson, Jan. 6, 2016

"For Natives, a "Day of Mourning"by Reginald Johnson, November 23, 2016

"A Bitter Harvest" by Reginald Johnson, Nov. 15, 2016

Special Programming Special Programming

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Between The Lines Progressive Resources

A compilation of activist and news sites with a progressive point of view

Share this content:


Podcasts Subscribe to BTL

Podcasts:  direct  or  via iTunes

Subscribe to Program Summaries, Interview Transcripts or Counterpoint via email or RSS feed

If you have other questions regarding subscriptions, feeds or podcasts/mp3s go to our Audio Help page.

Between The Lines Blog

Stay connected to BTL

RSS feed  twitter  facebook

donate  Learn how to support our efforts!

Trump and GOP Threaten to Overturn Obama's New Mining Stream Protection Rule

Posted Dec. 28, 2016

MP3 Interview with Marty Hayden, vice president for policy and legislation with the group EarthJustice, conducted by Melinda Tuhus


In the waning days of the Obama Administration, an environmental regulation that was years in the making was finalized in December. The Stream Protection Rule, which will take effect on Jan. 19, 2017,was designed to protect streams and other bodies of water in Appalachia from pollution and even obliteration by mountaintop removal coal operations. The new measure is an improvement over a previous regulation implemented during the George W. Bush era, but, according to some environmentalists, it does not go far enough.

To make matters worse, the incoming Trump administration and the Republican-controlled Congress have the power to repeal it, because it was promulgated so late in Obama's tenure, which is something Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has already promised to do.

Between The Lines' Melinda Tuhus spoke with Marty Hayden, vice president for policy and legislation with the group EarthJustice, which has represented opponents of mountaintop removal coal mining who have campaigned to safeguard air and water quality. Here, Hayden explains what the stream protection rule does and doesn't do, and what's likely to happen to the measure when Donald Trump takes office.

MARTY HAYDEN: In 1977, Congress passed the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act; that's the law that regulates coal mining. Part of that law prohibited coal mines from causing material damage to surface waters and ground water. In 1983, the Reagan administration created the Stream Buffer Zone rule, which prohibited mining within 100 feet of streams. Now, the problem with that it was never really enforced by the states. In 2008, President George W. Bush did his own rule to replace the Reagan rule, and his rule literally just said that they should "minimize direct disturbance to the extent deemed reasonable" to streams, which for all practical purposes was so vague as to be unenforceable. Now, we and other groups sued that rule and the federal court threw it out in 2014.

That is what led the Obama administration to put out the rule that just came out. Now, compared to the Bush rule, this is better, but – particularly with regards to it not having a real buffer – it could have been much better. What the rule itself would do – it's actually a modest step forward. The positive things it does is require improved baseline monitoring and data collection, both from the chemical side and the biological side of what the impacts of mountaintop removal coal mining are in the region and hence would allow communities access to information about what is in their water, which they don't have today. The other improvement that it has is a requirement that the companies have to restore the stream adequate enough to restore stream function; that's primarily through having enough of a financial kind of bonding requirement that they can afford to do that.

Unfortunately, this is not a very strong rule. The Obama administration kind of left a lot of things on the table in this rule, as well, and most notable I think is that while it still has what's called a stream buffer zone, it's really a buffer in name only, because the industry is still going to be allowed to do valley fills within the buffer. And instead of having the Office of Surface Mining over at [the] Interior [Department] impose clear requirements to protect the streams from mining, it leaves it to the states to fill in the blanks, which we know most of the mountaintop states aren't likely to be very vigorous about that.

BETWEEN THE LINES: So, the new regulation is far from perfect, but better than what came before. But Marty Hayden, isn't it true that Congress can undo regulations finalized within a certain number of days of the end of a president's term, and this one falls within that time period?

MARTY HAYDEN: Yes. It is called the Congressional Review Act, which allows Congress to pass a resolution of disapproval and veto in this case, a rule, and if the president signs that veto, then the rule is gone – and at the beginning of a new Congress, it's anything that had not been published and transmitted to Congress within 60 legislative days of the end of the session, which this rule obviously, having just come out in December, would be. Mitch McConnell has already said he would do that. Now, the kicker with the Congressional Review Act isn’t just that it can veto the rule, but it prohibits the agency from producing a substantively similar rule in the future without Congress' approval. "Substantively similar" has never been defined by the courts; it's never been challenged in the courts. At some point, there will be a case that goes forward to define what that really means.

BETWEEN THE LINES: In the end, whether this rule is repealed or not, how much difference will it make?

MARTY HAYDEN: This rule – plus, more importantly, I think, the ability to revisit this rule in a future administration – is very important. Mountaintop removal – it's not just that we're blowing up mountains and causing deforestation and burying headwater streams. We're hurting people, that [it is] a tremendous source of toxic pollution both in water and air that is hurting the people in the communities that surround these facilities. There are numerous scientific studies over the last, say, six years, that it's a growing body of evidence that connects mountaintop removal with elevated rates of cancer, kidney disease, birth defects, cardiovascular and pulmonary disease and other health problems. This is real, so controlling the pollution that's allowed to leave these sites at the end of the day is really important. And while this rule may not go far enough, we sure wouldn’t want to lose the ability to do a strong rule in the future.

Learn more about EarthJustice at

Related Links:

Subscribe and get Between The Lines' Weekly Summary in your inbox!