Echo Bay? Echo Bay certainly rings a bell with me. ABC News recently offered an interesting historical footnote to the decade-long debate over the A-J Mine. Echo Bay, the multinational mining corporation that wanted to open the A-J Mine in Juneau, allegedly paid over a million dollars to a terrorist group that was linked to al-Qaida in the Philippines in the 1990s. As the company raced towards the profit margin, it ignored the grave societal consequences of its actions and chose to pay protection money to terrorists based near one of its mines in order to secure its operations.
These stories hit home. The interests of a community should always come before those of a corporation. They seldom are the same. We must be diligent in our unbiased scrutiny of all proposed mining projects that would affect our community if we hope to develop our natural resources responsibly.