The Bush administration’s decision to let mining companies dump their waste into waterways is bad news, but bloggers note a few bright spots on the coal-mining scene.

Rob Perks at NRDC’s Switchboard announces that Bank of America “will phase out financing of companies whose predominant method of extracting coal is through mountain top removal.” Erik Hoffner at Gristmill notes that in addition to NRDC and Rainforest Action Network, grassroots groups like Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition and Coal River Mountain Watch played important roles in this victory.

Also at Gristmill, Kate Sheppard highlights a new PR campaign by the Reality Coalition, which is dedicated to busting the “clean coal” myth, and David Roberts laughs out loud while listening to the Communications VP of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity insisting that “clean coal” really does exist.

Elsewhere:

Matt Madia at Reg Watch alerts us to yet another sinister last-minute move by the Bush administration: stripping employees of several federal agencies of their collective bargaining rights.

Maggie Mahar at Health Beat cautions us to think carefully about what we really mean by “health reform” and to not make President Johnson’s success with Medicare and Medicaid sound simpler than it was.

Andrew Leonard at How the World Works suggests that the Big Three automakers wouldn’t be in such a precarious position if we had national healthcare.

Angry Toxicolgist agrees with the National Research Council’s critique of EPA’s chemical risk assessments, but warns that fixing the problems won’t be simple.

Marianne Lavelle at the Center for Public Integrity’s PaperTrail Blog examines the growth of US greenhouse gas emissions under the Bush administration.

Jennifer Sass at NRDC’s Switchboard compiles examples of Bush Administration budget cuts to key data collection programs that monitor hazardous pollutants in our air, water, food, and even our bodies.

Aman at Technology, Health & Development considers the effects of financial-market meltdown on international philanthropy.