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Once again, Marita Noon’s May14 guest column entitled “What’s Wrong With This Picture?” represents yet another of her contributions supporting what is really the minerals/natural gas/coal mining industry’s policy interests. The author’s opinions do not represent the majority of citizens who are seeking access to an ecologically sustainable energy and minerals supply.
In this particular instance she has chosen to demean the opinions of those who understand and are trying to protect and preserve the totally unique natural beauty of the Mount Taylor area in New Mexico forever. She advocates opening up large areas of it for uranium and other mining activities. Both her and the readers would be well advised to study the impact such activities had on human health, life expectancy, welfare, water supplies, etc. during the 1940-60s uranium mining boom.
Many of these associated mining and processing-related horrors took place right here in New Mexico and neighboring Utah. If the nation is in such dire need of nuclear fuels to power proposed new power stations perhaps it might be worth utilizing fuel from the several thousand nuclear weapons we and the Russians are supposed to be disassembling under the Arms Limitation Agreements.
Also, most of the spent fuel that has accumulated and is stored at the USA’s current operational nuclear power stations since the 1950s still awaits transportation and reprocessing also.
Perhaps our nation’s mining interest would better satisfy our insatiable demand for materials if it were to gain access to, and process the billions of tons of rubbish we all generate on a daily basis. This already contains most of the metals and other elements required by industry. The supply is right here in the USA and is usually in a much more concentrated and accessible form than that obtained from non-renewable mined ores.
Much the same scientific fact also applies to our insatiable and ever-growing energy demands. As an additional bonus, lots of well paying, stable and sustainable jobs would be created.
Gerald B. Ansell