Battle for Jobs, Environment Loses

2 03 2009

Because of staggering unemployment rates coupled with a failing economy, protecting the job market is top on everyone’s list and will come at any expense. In the case of Berners Bay, Alaska, the environment is not quite as important as fixing the economy.

Kensington Mine, Alaska

Kensington Mine, Alaska

In 2004, the Bush administration approved changes in drilling and dumping regulations for Alsaka. Now, the mining company, Coeur d’Alene is using these changes to justify dumping mine waste from Kensington Mine into Berners Bay.

Coeur d'Alene Slogan

Coeur d'Alene Slogan

This waste would be detrimental to fish and marine mammal habitats. The arctic lake would, “become a repository for 210,000 gallons a day of thick slurry, laced with aluminum, copper, lead and mercury — enough to kill all the fish and raise the lake’s bottom by 50 feet.”

Sadly, there is little opposition from the state of Alaska, because many citizens have already been guaranteed jobs with the mining company.

Berners Bay

Berners Bay

But, maybe Coeur d’Alene won’t pollute Alaskan waters because it:
• Adheres to environmentally sound practices for cyanide management;
• Manages mine waste safely and responsibly.

As long as there’s no cyanide!