Dear Editor, 

Aquila Resources’ latest attempt to brainwash area residents is corrupted by greed and delusion. The Canadian company is in the midst of a bogus propaganda campaign designed to convince everyone that it will begin mining at the Back Forty site next year. This is an attempt to appease the company’s investors, who have grown impatient with Aquila’s plummeting stock value and lack of return on investment. In fact, numerous hurdles block Aquila’s mining plans.

In an effort to clear some of these hurdles, Aquila has resorted to writing a “local agreement,” which is being offered to Menominee County, the City of Stephenson, Lake, Holmes and Daggett Township, and the Village of Daggett. This proposal is Aquila’s attempt to circumvent local zoning laws. The agreement tries to lure local units of government with the possibility of securing grant funds for perks such as recreational trails and a summer lunch program. These amenities would pale in comparison to the mine’s detrimental impact. There is no denying that open-pit sulfide mines pollute. If signed, the local agreement would include community non-opposition/support obligations. The local governments would agree not to oppose the mine. This amounts to, in the words of UW-La Crosse emeritus professor Al Gedicks, “legalized bribery.”

Aquila has been trying to secretly ram this local agreement through by holding one-on-one meetings with members of township boards. How do you build public confidence that way?

In a press release sent to the Detroit Free Press, Aquila stated that it “believes in the value of public input and participation, and strongly supports processes that encourage engagement with stakeholders.” In fact, Aquila has consistently avoided public participation because the overwhelming majority of area residents oppose the proposed mine. And shame on the Marinette Menominee Area Chamber of Commerce, which continues to take a neutral stand on a mine, which if allowed, would be disastrous to the community. It’s time for local businesses to help themselves by taking a stand in opposition to the mine.

 

Jody Korch

Town of Wagner