Every time a new mine is slated to open [“Sticky Issues,” Oct. 18, City Weekly], there are environmental groups that oppose it, as is their right. The irony is that these groups, along with everyone else, enjoy the benefits of the mining industry—aluminum for iPhones, steel for eco-friendly cars and buildings, copper for electricity, wind turbines, etc.—but they don’t want to allow the mines that produce these products to open, at least not around them.
The U.S. Oil Sands mine is the same situation, but with oil. We want cheap gas, but don’t want to have it produced near us. The environmental groups claim that more research needs to be done to examine the potential impacts but don’t mention that the permitting process for a new mine in the United States takes approximately five years—longer than almost any other country in the world—so all of these impacts can be examined. This mine was also approved by an Obama-appointed EPA administration that is as strict as any to date, and falls directly in line with the president’s plan to reduce foreign oil independence and increase domestic oil production.
The same thing happens over and over with mines: People want to enjoy the benefits, but they don’t want to get their hands dirty—it’s fine for someone somewhere else to do that.