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Letter to the editor icon2

Letter to the editor icon2

Montana way of life

Ballot initiative 12/14 is not trying to stop mining, it’s trying to hold the mining companies responsible. It is not looking to take jobs away from Montanans as this article suggests, it is looking to preserve jobs, the outdoors, and Montana’s way of life. While mining helps to support families, and property taxes, the mining bonds for cleanup do not cover the actual cleanup costs.

Being a Montanan means fishing, hunting, and enjoying the great outdoors. Today, we are seeing more of our waterways polluted from mining operations waste. Companies are not being held accountable. They walk away, file bankruptcy, and leave the mess for taxpayers to clean up. With Superfunds having limited funding, more of the cleanup costs will fall to Montana taxpayers.

Mining companies currently looking to start up have limited accountability for cleaning up their contamination. Insurance bonds bought for thousands, do not cover the millions of dollars it takes for the actual cleanup. This leaves Montana lands and streams polluted, which is detrimental to the outdoor recreation, one of the largest economic drivers in our state, supporting numerous small communities.

I urge people to do some research on this initiative, and on the mining companies looking to do business in Montana.

— Kelly Williamson, Missoula

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