I have spent 30 years working in remote parts of Alaska in areas of resource development in particular those of mining and oil and gas developments at Prudhoe Bay and Northwest Alaska.
In reading comments that come in regarding the development of the Kensington gold mine it always seems to occur to me that there are the same old recycled arguments against development activity. Those same clichés are present whether it's Prudhoe Bay, Red Dog or Matanuska Valley. What it really shows is that there are people who are against any development regardless of where it is.
Do people really think that any company or organization wants to pollute drinking water of their own employees' families? Does anyone want to kill fishing habitat? Do watchdog agencies ignore regulations and safeguards that they are charged to oversee. Of course not.
The Kensington Mine will provide more than 200 high-paying jobs that will contribute $16 million in payroll to the community. It will bring energy and a bright future to young people looking for a mining career close to home. Literally hundreds of local businesses will be benefiting from the goods and services that are required to support the mining operations. It is time for Southeast to take an opportunity and turn it into a reality. Make it work positively, safely and environmentally sound without the recycled negatives.