Kudos to Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., for keeping the Forest Service and multinational mining corporations honest in her call for a full public review of exploratory drilling associated with an open-pit mine proposal in the shadow of Mount St. Helens. Here are three reasons I think Ascot’s mine proposal has three strikes against it:
This drilling proposal will lead to an effort that is no different than the proposal in 2008 that was defeated during a federal lease process with overwhelming local opposition. It seems like the strategy this time around is to try to avoid any public process or review.
The claim that the impacts of a potential mine in the Green River Valley would be negligible is insulting. Such a project would destroy a popular recreational area in the middle of a roadless national forest area.
If you don’t care about protecting wildlife, recreational opportunities or old growth forests, how about safe and clean drinking water for towns such as Kelso and Longview? Both cities’ opposition is on record during the fight over a mine in 2008 because of impacts it would have upstream of their municipal watersheds. Make the right call and call this proposal out.