Are We in Ely’s Watershed?

      I read this post the other day and it made me realize how grateful I am to live on the Gunflint Trail.  I think we’re somewhat safe over here but someone please confirm we are not in the watershed of where the proposed mines are.

To Hell With The Future; We Want Mining Jobs Today

By Mike Hillman

Like many people living in Northeastern Minnesota, I’m getting pretty tired of hearing about all the negative things those environmentalists are telling us about what will happen if we allow those foreign mining companies to come here and tap into the second richest undeveloped reserve of precious metals in the world.  If God wouldn’t have wanted us to mine them, why did he put them here in the first place?  All these extremist groups seem to want to talk about, is all the bad things that are going to happen, if we allow sulfide mining here on the, edge of the Boundary Waters.  It’s like these people have some kind of crystal ball that’s telling them the future for heaven’s sake.  I’ve been paying close attention to what the mining companies are saying, and I think it’s time we give them a chance to demonstrate all the new technology, that they’re going to use, when they start mining all the valuable minerals that God placed here in Minnesota.

The first point I would like to make is that all these bad mines, many of which are now Super-Fund Clean-Up Sites, aren’t even in Minnesota.  In the whole history of mining, there has never been a single instance of any sulfide mines polluting any water in The State of Minnesota.  All those Super-Fund Mines are in other places.  Many of those mines didn’t have the supervision, or cutting edge technology, that our mines are going to employ here in Minnesota.

You can’t judge the future based on the past. They say that those who don’t know history are doomed to make the same mistakes.  The mining companies know better than anyone else that they’ve made some horrendous messes in the past, and they’re really sorry for them.  Nobody feels worse about past sulfide disasters in places like Colorado, Montana, Arizona, and Canada, than the foreign owned mining companies.  They promise if given the chance that they will do it right this time here in Minnesota.  Those past environmental disasters were made by other mining companies, who didn’t have the new and improved, cutting edge technologies that our foreign owned mining companies will use here in Northeastern Minnesota.  When I looked at what their new process was, I couldn’t find anything new, nothing that hasn’t been done before, that’s my definition of new.  But, if those mining companies say it’s new, it’s got to be, don’t you believe?

I’m sure if those mining companies, who made a fine mess of things all over the world, hadn’t gone bankrupt, that they would have been only too happy to help clean up the mess they made.  You can’t ask a bankrupt company to help with anything once they’ve made their money, and finished mining a place.  Like the old saying goes, you can’t get blood out of a turnip.  No one can ask a company, that’s declared bankruptcy, to help take care of its mistakes. That’s why we have the Super-Fund.  The Government Super-Fund has already spent millions and millions of dollars taking care of other people’s messes, but we don’t have to worry, here in Minnesota.  The foreign owned mining companies, who want to bring billions of dollars into the local economy, have better ways of doing things now, or so they say.  Can’t these worry-wart environmentalists forget about the past, and look towards a brighter and better sulfide mining future?

Why do these environmental groups; Like the Friends of the Boundary Waters, have to be so negative.  Don’t they know that millions of Chinese people need to have cell phones, computers, and all the other high tech things that we have here in America.  And how about all those people living in India?  Shouldn’t they have all the same things we do?  Who are we to deprive them of all the high tech stuff that used to be made right here in the USA, but have now been moved overseas, so rich American owned companies, can make even more profit?  Where are we going to get the gold, copper, platinum, and nickel that these poor third world people need for their cell phones?  I’m sure if they were lucky enough to be sitting on all the minerals we have here in Minnesota, that they would be thanking their lucky stars for all the mining jobs.  But because God chose to bless us with tons of valuable minerals, those jobs will be ours.  Let’s tell the EPA to stop worrying about the future, so we can start mining today. You can bet those third world people wouldn’t be whining about a little sulfuric acid polluting their Boundary Waters, if they had a Boundary Waters to worry about.

Finally I’d just like to say that even if the worst thing happened, and our mining companies pulled out after making a lot of money for half a century, and then left us to deal with rivers of sulfuric acid flowing right into the heart of places like Basswood Lake, and Lac LaCroix.  If that were to happen, it would no doubt kill millions of things like fish, ducks, and loons.  People have to realize that even if part of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area was polluted by sulfuric acid and heavy metals, there would still be plenty of lakes in the Quetico-Superior Wilderness Area that wouldn’t be ruined by sulfide mining.  God gave us over fourteen thousand lakes in Minnesota, and if a few of them have to die, so that we can have mining jobs today, that’s really a small price to pay.  Sulfide mining will fill our schools with children again, and our economy will be humming for half a century.  Wouldn’t it be worth the loss of a few lakes and rivers, in order to stuff our pockets now?  I say to hell with worrying about rivers of sulfuric acid in the future.  We’ve got enough to worry about.  Let the future take care of itself.  We need to live for today.  We need those mining jobs, no matter what it costs our children and grand children to clean up the mess we make today.