Mining regulations approved by former President Clinton and now under review by President Bush would give the federal government the right to reject a mining proposal on federal land if it would cause “substantial irreparable harm.” But the Bush administration is expected to repeal the rules next month or water them down, meaning mining companies will continue to get pretty much the same deal they’ve gotten for the last 129 years, reports the Seattle Post-Intelligencer in a four-part series on mining in the West. The General Mining Act of 1872 lets miners extract a fortune from public land, paying almost nothing to the government and often leaving taxpayers to clean up the environmental mess left behind.