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Thread: Environmental Protection: The Pebble Copper Mine in Alaska

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    Senior Member Gerry Clinchy's Avatar
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    Default Environmental Protection: The Pebble Copper Mine in Alaska

    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2013/...o-pebble-mine/
    This piece is posted in the Opinion section ... and since it is written by the CEO of the Pebble mine, that is quite appropriate.

    He cites facts that one should be able to verify elsewhere.

    The issue here is the very people who praise the environmental protections in place, are trying to evade the same laws to pre-empt the Pebble project from even applying for a permit for their mine. It would be another example of circumventing existing laws for political reasons; and could be a far-reaching precedent for the entire country, not just for mining but any project that requires earth-moving (such as a highway).

    You really need to read the entire piece to understand the issue.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerry Clinchy View Post
    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2013/...o-pebble-mine/
    This piece is posted in the Opinion section ... and since it is written by the CEO of the Pebble mine, that is quite appropriate.

    He cites facts that one should be able to verify elsewhere.

    The issue here is the very people who praise the environmental protections in place, are trying to evade the same laws to pre-empt the Pebble project from even applying for a permit for their mine. It would be another example of circumventing existing laws for political reasons; and could be a far-reaching precedent for the entire country, not just for mining but any project that requires earth-moving (such as a highway).

    You really need to read the entire piece to understand the issue.
    Gerry - read the guy's credentials & imagine his motivation -

    For a little background I have a BSMinEngr, been 8,000 feet underground & have done everything: day's pay laborer, contract miner & worked my way up the administrative ladder to Mine Superintendent. Mining leaves a footprint, the stuff they bring to the surface can be fairly caustic, lick a freshly blasted rock sometime , the stuff used to pull the metals from the ore even more so. In this case I believe Pebble is going to be an open pit, maybe even worse, every ton of rock blasted will occupy a space 1.7 times larger. Open pit mines with their 200 ton or more trucks leave a footprint - the waste pile will be bigger than a mountain, even by Alaska standards. If you ever drive I-90 just East of Whitehall MT there is a large leaching pile (AU) above the Jefferson River, someday the containment will fail (it does not have an infinite life) & all the chemicals used to extract the gold will end up in the Jeff .

    Have you ever been to a pristine place, for our 40th the boss & I spent a night at Lake Quinault lodge on the Olympic peninsula. As you drive around the lake the river entering & exiting the lake is so clear you can see fish 20 feet or more below the surface, that comes from no human footprint in Olympic National Park.

    We live where there is a significant salmon run on one of the free flowing rivers in WA. Fortunately, where we are is not the easiest place to reach around the Seattle area. We can see salmon in all stages - fry to returning spawners sometime during the year. Fish are sustainable.

    I have looked at the Watershed map where the mine will be. My guess would be the fishery has more long term value than the mine but that will probably not enter into the discussion. This is a battle that will be fought on the grounds of political science. As much as I dislike what BHO stands for, I personally hope he does the correct thing & declares the area off limits to development.

    I wish someone from Alaska would weigh in on this, they would have the local perspective.
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    Senior Member Gerry Clinchy's Avatar
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    Marvin, I absolutely respect your credentials, and certainly this was an opinion piece by someone who, without doubt, has a vested interest in the mine project.

    The real point, though, is that we have the laws, and this situation is another case of a govt agency avoiding, evading and circumventing the very laws that they are supposed to observe in their process of vetting such projects. If this project should be rejected, then it should be examined in accordance with the law.

    When we condone one agency (or bureaucrat) circumventing the laws they are sworn to uphold, we can be led to also condone the IRS's actions because it, or some bureaucrat, deems the actions "necessary". If the vetting of this project shows that the law is insufficient protection, then it needs to be changed ... but bureaucrats are not given the authority to do that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerry Clinchy View Post
    Marvin, I absolutely respect your credentials, and certainly this was an opinion piece by someone who, without doubt, has a vested interest in the mine project.

    The real point, though, is that we have the laws, and this situation is another case of a govt agency avoiding, evading and circumventing the very laws that they are supposed to observe in their process of vetting such projects. If this project should be rejected, then it should be examined in accordance with the law.

    When we condone one agency (or bureaucrat) circumventing the laws they are sworn to uphold, we can be led to also condone the IRS's actions because it, or some bureaucrat, deems the actions "necessary". If the vetting of this project shows that the law is insufficient protection, then it needs to be changed ... but bureaucrats are not given the authority to do that.
    Had you made this point anytime during the Keystone Pipeline discussion, your post might have more validity. As Hoggatt said the NE portion of that pipeline would be in some prime farmland & the farmers are concerned. But you failed to do so, so left something on the table.

    Sometimes laws don't work, they are put together by imperfect people with incomplete information to cover what they believe to be needs. & then expanded by career bureaucrats to make the law suit their agenda.

    Though I believe the rule of law should prevail, we allow POTUS past to pardon hardened criminals because of a perceived injustice.

    In this case there will be no repair to replace the fish stock or the environmentally sensitive area damaged by this intrusion into a pristine area.
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    Senior Member Gerry Clinchy's Avatar
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    Marvin, maybe I missed something. My understanding is that the Keystone Pipeline has gone through its vetting process according to the laws in place. In fact, it has gone on for years. My understanding is also that the portion of pipeline still unapproved has actually been approved by the State Dept. and the states through which it would pass. It lacks, as I understand it, only the final sign-off by POTUS. While I might have disagreed with it being kicked back for further investigation last year (or was it the year before?), the process followed the protocols in place. Wouldn't that be a different scenario?

    We do allow a POTUS (or governor, I believe) to pardon a criminal, but that is also done in accordance with a law in place that grants such authority.

    The Pebble Mine should absolutely go through its process.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerry Clinchy View Post
    The Pebble Mine should absolutely go through its process.
    The folks in UT thought that also when Clinton took all the coal deposits off the table & declared Grand Escalante a National Monument .

    The Pebble mine is a more environmentally sensitive area than Grand Escalante.

    Where you live you should have a greater concern about fracking contaminating your well water .
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerry Clinchy View Post
    Marvin, maybe I missed something. My understanding is that the Keystone Pipeline has gone through its vetting process according to the laws in place. In fact, it has gone on for years. My understanding is also that the portion of pipeline still unapproved has actually been approved by the State Dept. and the states through which it would pass. It lacks, as I understand it, only the final sign-off by POTUS. While I might have disagreed with it being kicked back for further investigation last year (or was it the year before?), the process followed the protocols in place. Wouldn't that be a different scenario?

    We do allow a POTUS (or governor, I believe) to pardon a criminal, but that is also done in accordance with a law in place that grants such authority.

    The Pebble Mine should absolutely go through its process.
    The Keystone pipeline may be held up for a few years over a lawsuit that is in court now by three farmers, apparently the Governor circumvented some policies, imagine that.
    Last edited by mngundog; 08-08-2013 at 09:20 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerry Clinchy View Post
    Marvin, maybe I missed something. My understanding is that the Keystone Pipeline has gone through its vetting process according to the laws in place. In fact, it has gone on for years. My understanding is also that the portion of pipeline still unapproved has actually been approved by the State Dept. and the states through which it would pass. It lacks, as I understand it, only the final sign-off by POTUS. While I might have disagreed with it being kicked back for further investigation last year (or was it the year before?), the process followed the protocols in place. Wouldn't that be a different scenario?

    We do allow a POTUS (or governor, I believe) to pardon a criminal, but that is also done in accordance with a law in place that grants such authority.

    The Pebble Mine should absolutely go through its process.
    And a major objection to the original route was eliminated when they changed the proposed route thru the sandhills to one that avoids them.
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    Senior Member Gerry Clinchy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mngundog View Post
    The Keystone pipeline may be held up for a few years over a lawsuit that is in court now by three farmers, apparently the Governor circumvented some policies, imagine that.
    My position is the same ... the laws should be observed. If the Gov. did not obey the laws, then he is at fault.

    Marvin, I am not in the area where fracking is happening, but not far away from it (maybe a couple of hours' drive). I don't have your credentials, but have tried to follow the information on the dangers of fracking. The most recent I read was about the dangers of methane gas escaping, as a result of the process; not of the NG, itself, being the water pollutant. There should be good information coming from the extensive fracking going on in other parts of the country, so that we will truly have the evidence of the dangers.
    G.Clinchy@gmail.com
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerry Clinchy View Post
    Marvin, I am not in the area where fracking is happening, but not far away from it (maybe a couple of hours' drive). I don't have your credentials, but have tried to follow the information on the dangers of fracking. The most recent I read was about the dangers of methane gas escaping, as a result of the process; not of the NG, itself, being the water pollutant. There should be good information coming from the extensive fracking going on in other parts of the country, so that we will truly have the evidence of the dangers.
    I was pulling your leg on the fracking - As for credentials, I've been there, am a logical person, spent my last 25 employed years at Boeing as an engineer, 15 as a lead engineer. It is truly amazing the amount of knowledge one gains that is transferable to other venues.

    Based on the composition of the earth's crust I would not say something unusual might not happen locally, but it will not be the result of actual fracking. It may be the result of sloppy methods or just plain failure to have a process. It will not be the result of the pressurization of the carbon bearing area.
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