Letter: Exploration could lead to jobs
Friday, July 22, 2011
The July 13 story, “Group seeks to block drilling near Mount St. Helens,” raises some questions about local mineral exploration. My opinion concerns groups that launch lawsuits to block work already rigorously controlled by U.S. Forest Service environmental regulations derived from actions of the U.S. Congress. In the past, legal challenges seemed to be directed where there was an actual defined resource that could be economical to develop. Now, it seems, an exploration company, following the rules, faces a legal challenge in court to prohibit even trying to determine if an economical resource exists.
Some mining people I know decided Mexico is politically safer to develop a mineral deposit than the U.S. This is disappointing because we could put people back to work in the U.S. rather than export jobs out of the country. Labor statistics show Washington state’s unemployment rate at 9.1 percent in May. We could support wealth-producing industries including mining companies; people could work for these companies, pay taxes and help save our economy. But wait, we will first need to decide who gets to work or not in a court of law.