I am responding to economist John Phelan’s column in the News Tribune Nov. 3 regarding the economic impacts of sulfide mining (An Economist’s View: “Mining or the environment is a false choice; we can have both”). Phelan criticized an earlier “Local View” column, “Arrowhead better served without mineral leases,” for falling into a trap.
But Phelan is the one, it appears, who fell into his own trap.
Phelan wrote, “If your assumptions have no basis in evidence and you arbitrarily exclude unhelpful impacts from your analysis, you can come up with almost any estimate you want.” Phelan failed to address that there is currently no evidence that sulfide mining has been done anywhere in the world without destructive environmental impacts. His opinion may have had some credibility had he cited examples of safe mining.