January 2014 | Mining University

Sturgis, South Dakota Mining Ordinance

County Commissioners in Meade County, South Dakota are seeking to create a zoning ordinance for mining in order to allow for a mining ordinance to be created. The mining ordinance is needed to allow gold mining in old tailings piles near Whitewood Creek. Residents of the county are eager to welcome new jobs into the area. County Commissioner Alan Aker, who proposed the zoning ordinance, seems to understand the importance of allowing and regulating mining activities on his home turf.

As part of the discussion about the zoning ordinance the environmentalists put in their two cents. As stated in the Meade County Times-Tribune:
Environmentalist Nancy Hilding of Black Hawk said while she doesn't disagree with the county's desire to pass a mining ordinance, she believes much more work and research must first be done to write an effective ordinance.
This attitude toward developing natural resources is deceptively rational. Any intelligent human being will agree that research must be done before passing any ordinance. That's the whole point of government regulation. The problem becomes apparent only as time goes by. Environmentalists have discovered that if they can force research of a given issue to go on for long enough that eventually all development programs will go away.

I'm not saying that all mining permits should be approved out of hand. Regulating of all industries is important to our country and planet. As reasonable people, we simply need to be able to say when enough research has happened and it's okay to allow jobs to be created and the economy to thrive.

West Virginia Chemical Spill

I have to admit that I have been ignoring the story about the chemical spill in West Virginia. It happened toward the end of the week last week and I didn't want to interrupt my weekend. It happened on the other side of the country. It was being blamed, in a round about way, on the mining industry. All of these things combined to make me want to ignore the story.

Today I finally broke down and started looking into the story and was shocked at how the mining industry was being dragged through the mud by mainstream media for no reason whatsoever. One article from MSN News actually states that the chemical wasn't on any mine site. Based on how this was being treated by the Today show and other media outlets I was sure that the leak had happened at a mine site or at a site treating coal. In fact the company that leaked the chemical, Freedom Industries, was the supplier of the chemical. Nothing had even been on a mine site yet.

Another fun fact that came to my attention was that the chemical isn't deadly at all according to the article in MSN News. The chemical, 4-Methylcyclohexanemethanol, is used to wash coal to reduce ash. The chemical's other use is as an air freshener (see Wikipedia). The article in MSN News states that, even in it's most concentrated form the chemical isn't deadly.

I'm so glad that the mainstream media could associate mining and all the jobs and prosperity it brings to West Virginia with a 'disaster' that didn't happen on a mine site and didn't kill anybody. Once again the mining industry plays the 'bad guy' for the rest of the world.