Renee Downing has it wrong. Tony Davis spent most of the last five years editorializing against Rosemont under that guise of journalism. Imagine how ashamed he must have felt when the Daily Star's editorial board undercut his Rosemont smear campaign. When his own bosses aren't listening to him, it's time for Tony to leave town to ply his yellow journalism elsewhere.
Rosemont will be one of the biggest copper producers in the US and second in Arizona after Morenci. Mining at Rosemont will provide sorely needed income for workers and businesses that support the mine. Those dollars and the taxes from the mining will flow into Tucson's sorry economy.
I took a drive around town today and saw one empty storefront after another. This place is becoming a ghost town right before our eyes. Our schools are grossly underfunded. Our roads are in tragic disrepair. We are constantly faced with cuts to services because the tax base isn't here. Mining produces original economy, not like the service economies where dollars are traded back and forth. Not like retail sales, which is always competing for our diminishing dollars. Rosemont will make a big difference here
What's the sacrifice? A big hole in the ground. Yup. That's unavoidable. We've got quite a few existing open pits around the state but you rarely hear a word about the others. Sierrita? Mission? Ray? San Manuel? Silverbell? Bagdad? Miami? Pinto Valley? Sacaton? Most people haven't even heard of them or couldn't find them on a map without Google.
Water usage? The Sahuarita pecan orchards use much more water than the mines. So do the residents of our fair city. Rosemont will recycle most of its water use, as do all of AZ's copper mines.
Air quality? Have you ever driven on I-10 past the cotton fields in spring before the plants begin to sprout during a big wind storm. Do you think that the mines will kick up that kind dust? The aerial extent of disturbance by Rosemont pales in comparison to the agricultural disturbances.
Bottom line: The Daily Star got it right: let the mine proceed. Enough is enough. There are plenty of arguments on both sides but Rosemont Copper has met the burden of permitting. Copper mining, it's what we do here. Be thankful that we've got something to boost our poor desert economy.
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