It amazes me when nonresident citizens or outside interest groups protest or testify against the Kensington Mine at the city Assembly chambers and argue the detrimental affect of tailings from mines. Downtown Juneau is built on tailings. Literally, the ground they stand on is tailings. Outside interest groups or single-minded individuals that oppose the development of the Kensington Mine do not care about jobs for Juneauites. They do not care about our community and its economic development. It is all about stopping the mine.
I would not presume to call the U.S. Environment Protection Agency, Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Forest Service, Army Corps of Engineers or any of the other agencies that participated in the 900 studies involving environmental, feasibility, socioeconomics and related project design that have been completed, at a cost of over $25 million, incompetent.
I find it highly frustrating that these special-interest groups fly in on Alaska Airlines, testify and leave Juneau. I also don't appreciate them telling us that the Juneauites that work for the state and federal agencies that live here in Juneau and have done their homework and issued findings, rulings or recommendations are incompetent.
Since Coeur has been approved for the mine, we are talking about jobs, opportunities for locals to make a good living, afford homes, and provide for their families. Now, local business will be able to provide support services to Coeur. Those that are hired (direct labor) could save money, apply for home and car loans and buy electronics.
I would like to see Juneau be known as a city that welcomes businesses and responsible growth. If a business, like Coeur, spends $25 million and proves they can manage their business prudently, hire locals and make a profit, we should support them. Juneauites for Juneauites; that's my motto.
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