Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Sordid story involving plans to mine on Mt. St. Helens

According to this scary article (Bellingham Herald), a 3,000 acre copper mine is planned on Mt. St. Helens, on the edge of the National Monument.

What makes it even more sordid than usual is that the mine is planned on the very same land that the Trust for Public Lands purchased in the 1980s and donated to the Forest Service in the name of protecting the landscape.

Why anyone would think the Forest Service -- particularly in western Washington in the 1980s -- was a worthy entity to donate land to for conservations purposes is beyond me. But they did it.

And now it will be a nice shiny copper mine. But the mining company's president says his company is "committed to environmental protection" and that people are "prejudging" that his 3000 acre copper mine is "going to be a mess."

Well, two sides to every story, right? But the author of the article did not include any indication of what a 3000 acre copper mine that is not "a mess" would look like. And it appears from the mining company's website (Idaho General Mines) that they do not have any experience yet with actually mining anything -- I believe all their projects are in the permitting or exploratory stages.

My prediction: it will be a mess. You read it here first!


1 comment:

jr_ranger said...

Yep. Strip mining is bad - whever it occurs. In the Appalachian coalfields, for example....

Early in 2000, Darlies Carter of Martin, County, Kentucky was driving home from work along the Huntley-Brinkley Road near her mountain home. Coal trucks hauling coal from nearby strip mines to be processed elsewhere frequently use the road. The weight limit for the road is 44,000 pounds (about 22 tons). Carter never made it home. Matthew Casey, driving a coal truck, hit and killed her.

Casey is a repeat felon. He had taken 30 Xanx, cocaine, and marijuana, and had been driving his overloading coal truck for 18 straight hours before plowing head-on into her.

“I was getting ready for a graduation, and instead had to go to a funeral,” said her mother, Patsy Carter.

Casey’s truck had been 50 tons over the legal weight limit – something that he testified that his employer, Massey Energy, knew. Matthew Casey spent only one year in jail. During this year, Pasty Carter’s 18-year-old nephew was hit and killed by an overloaded coal truck while driving home from school. A year later, his mom April died at age 47.

“We live in terror. It’s like Vietnam around here just trying to go to the grocery and back,” said Carter’s sister. “She [April] prayed for the day she would die.”