Most Americans care about the environment. This simple statement translates into votes at the ballot box or as direct opposition to a variety of energy development schemes that stray too far from our collective concern.
Yet at the same time, we Americans also want mining companies to dig up minerals for things we buy, or to pump oil for fuel and heat, and give our permission to exploit natural resources.
This seeming contradiction is predicated on balance. We want energy, as long as the environment has sufficient regulatory protection. This balanced approach has made the environment safer and has improved operation for the best mining companies.
But the Bush administration's latest proposed change to mining regulations is an unacceptable tilt away from that balance. The new rules would end a Clinton-era policy that limited how much public land can be used for dumping mining waste. Those rules halted development of an open-pit gold mine in this state. ...
Most Americans still care about the environment. This is no time to toss a balanced approach into some bottomless pit lined with golden promises.
Seattle Post-Intelligencer - Oct. 14
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