Gold, greed and tax relief for millionaires

On Thursday, March 31, the Juneau Empire pages were totally loaded with really revealing information:


On the front page we read about the City and Borough of Juneau and the Alaska Juneau Gold Mine and this joint effort to setup or upset Juneau’s downtown relatively happy natural resources inventory for yet another epic and historic Leadville Superfund site. As usual, what a sad and pernicious lure towards gold trapped insidiously between hard-rock materialism and local politics. For you see folks, CBJ literally owns a large portion of the AJ gold mine holdings and our miner mayor wants to dig it. Dig it?

Then as we venture deeper inside the paper, we read where the Empire’s editor takes on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in what appears to be a rather blatant defense of that gigantic and environmentally questionable multinational, the Pebble Partnership mining venture on the headwaters of Bristol Bay. However, this comes (as Pebble CEO, John Shively, would have folks believe) before there is apparently a Pebble mine project at all? And folks if you believe that particular myth — then you’re also welcome to all the bedrock gold in my backyard. But seriously, please look — we are talking multibillion’s in real corporate dollars here — so with all that moolah at corporate stake, what’s a few more totally ruined Alaska wild rivers or forever devastated wild salmon runs? After all our elected delegation in Washington keeps telling us that Alaska has boundless natural resources rife for the developer’s profiteering projects — but fortunately — only if the brand new EPA actually caves in to corporate pressure and allows breaking the law.

Then unbelievably, on the very same page we read Senator Begich’s huge pitch for big-oil and gas production way up in the high Arctic, And also, Juneau resident, John Meyers, tells us he’s an oil-man while offering his personal recommendation to the State Legislature for the adoption of Gov. Parnell’s $2 billion tax give away, A big oil tax relief they would, if granted, find real handy for incidental oil drilling expenses or something. Maybe CEO Christmas bonuses?

However, nowhere but nowhere — does one read anything about funding for some ongoing in-depth exploration program seeking non-polluting alternative energy development in Alaska. It is truly very sad and President Barack Obama basically follows that same old, same old path to global warming, while age-old ice and permafrost melt and majestic glaciers just fade away.

Alan R. Munro



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