Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

Please note I have a new phone number...


Alan Maki

Alan Maki
Doing research at the LBJ Library in Austin, Texas

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

A program for real change...


What we need is a "21st Century Full Employment Act for Peace and Prosperity" which would make it a mandatory requirement that the president and Congress attain and maintain full employment.

"Voting is easy and marginally useful, but it is a poor substitute for democracy, which requires direct action by concerned citizens"

- Ben Franklin

Let's talk...

Let's talk...

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Environmental Activists Arrested in Michigan's Upper Peninsula trying to halt dangerous sulfide mining

Please, if you have a moment, call the Michigan State Police post at (906) 475-9922 and demand to know why Charlotte Loonsfoot and Chris Solsha were arrested today on federally ceded land up at Eagle Rock, near Big Bay, Michigan north of Marquette. This is all in regards to Kennecott and the proposed Eagle Mine...a metallic sulfide mine on the Yellow Dog Plains. Insist all charges be dropped.

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At Issue: Upper Peninsula sulfide mine

Let's join voices to protect environment


[Note: William G. Milliken of Traverse City served as Michigan's Republican governor from 1969 to 1983]

No resource is more important to Michigan's future than the Great Lakes. They literally surround us, leading to our identification as the "Great Lakes State.”

Any action that could threaten the quality of the Great Lakes must be approached with extreme caution, particularly by the State of Michigan. That is why all people who care about the future of this state and of the Great Lakes should be very concerned about a proposal now before the state Department of Environmental Quality to blast a nickel mine in the Upper Peninsula under the headwaters of the Salmon Trout River, one of Lake Superior's primary tributaries.

The mine being proposed by the Kennecott Minerals Corp. would be much different from the iron ore mines that now exist and have existed in the U.P. for decades. It would involve blasting into underground sulfide ore deposits that contain nickel being sought by the mining company. Sulfide ores leach acid as soon as they come in contact with water or air.

Underground water seeping into the mine itself would create sulfuric acid, resulting in acid mine drainage of the equivalent of battery acid that would run off into rivers, contaminate groundwaters and end up in Lakes Superior and Michigan.

The top of the proposed mine is level with the aquifer closest to the surface that connects with the Salmon Trout River, which adds to the threat that the river could become contaminated with acid mine drainage.

The material loosed in the blasting process would be hauled out by trucks, with an estimated 80 truckloads per day leaving the mine. Each truckload would spill sulfide ores along its way, creating more acid contamination along its route.

The proposed mine also poses the threat of air pollution, with a ventilation system that would vent air from the mine through a 50-foot tall stack that would have no air pollution controls, releasing an estimated minimum of 20 tons per year of dust containing sulfides and metals only 300 feet from the Salmon Trout River.

Beyond that, geologists say that because of the huge hole that would be created underground by the blasting operations, there is also the real threat that the river would actually collapse into the mine at some point.

The DEQ initially issued a draft decision to permit the mine in January. That was followed by the revelation that a report from a DEQ consultant that was highly critical of the proposed mine was suppressed by DEQ staff during the permitting process. The suppressed report was subsequently made public and the draft permit was revoked.

The area of this proposed sulfide mine is wide open, unpaved and unpowered. It is situated right in the middle of the largest undeveloped tract in all of Michigan. Its rivers and streams feed Lake Superior and Lake Michigan. What a terrible place for a mine. What a terrible threat to the Great Lakes, and all this for a mine that has a projected life of seven to eight years and is projected to create, at the most, 100 jobs. When the mine closed, we would be left with a huge hole in the ground, the potential for severe environmental damage, and no jobs.

If Michigan were to allow this mine to set up shop, we would be carrying out a modern-day equivalent to the Biblical story of Esau selling his birthright for a "mess of Pottage.”

The residents of the area are overwhelmingly opposed to this mine. They do not want their neighborhood despoiled. They have made that opposition very clear and have created their own Web site: "savethewildup.org.”

We made great progress in the latter decades of the 20th century reversing the old mindset of exploiting our natural resources, including the Great Lakes, and then cleaning up the mess at a later time. The lakes became more natural, drinkable, swimmable and fishable.

Unfortunately, the Great Lakes face more threats today than ever before. Let's join all our voices with those of the citizens of the Upper Peninsula who are determined to protect their environment and the Great Lakes. Let's tell the DEQ in no uncertain terms we don't want this mine to despoil our state.

William G. Milliken of Traverse City served as Michigan governor from 1969 to 1983