Drop the scare tactics

Re: Mines, agencies do well with cleanup

Do you think the Casper Star Tribune could have printed a more fake news title that The Sheridan Press printed verbatim on Jan. 10, 2020? The article was titled “Western states face huge coal mine cleanup liability, study says,” which is based on comments from a “study” prepared by the Western Organization of Resource Councils.

Not only is the title false, it is the same narrative pushed by the Resource Councils that is intended to create the impression that mining companies are willfully leaving mined lands unreclaimed and that “Wyoming has a colossal cleanup project on its hands.” Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, as noted later in the article, Wyoming’s mine regulatory agency has been consistently doing its job to insure just the opposite — that mining companies are providing adequate bonding for final reclamation and that the concurrent reclamation conducted thus far (which the Resource Council study fails to mention at all) has been to exemplary standards.

Such scare tactics are nothing new for the Resource Councils. Their unpublished goal is virtually no development and the good people of this state should have realized this long ago given the obstruction that this group has attempted to employ to thwart industrial development at every turn.

For a truer picture of the reclamation efforts by these mines, people should visit the mines and see the effort for themselves. Mines in Wyoming and Montana in particular have won numerous awards for land restoration efforts and have shown their ability to be responsible operators and stewards of the land even though the Resource Councils never acknowledge that fact.

No, the state and its applicable regulatory agencies are doing a great job of overseeing the mining industry and their job is only made tougher by ridiculous statements and “studies” that attempt to undermine their work with the “sky is falling” mentality that Resource Councils promote. Give the mine operators and the state the credit they deserve.

 

Ron Destefano

Sheridan