Raise the bar for mining companies

A recent Rapid City Journal article provided an excellent, unbiased report over landowner concern regarding proposed gold exploration near Rochford. I do not have an emotional connection to that land, but I do have an emotional reaction to the permitting of drilling activities to be conducted by a company whose liabilities exceed their assets. Just one day later, we learn that the failed Quartz Operations oil well was bonded at $130,000 with estimates to remediate now expected to be in the range of $2 million with taxpayers on the hook.

Our issues with mining do not stem from an antiquated 1872 mining law. Certainly, there should be consideration for updates to the law, but the greater concern must lie with the regulatory bodies that establish minimal surety bonds that have no relationship to potential risk. One can only look to mining disasters such as the Gilt Edge, Summitville and Gold King Mine Superfund sites. 

All of these mines were productive and profitable. They also leave a lasting legacy of taxpayer-funded clean up. These mines are not typical of most mining operations, but they are typical of regulatory failure.

Steve Gray


Gun control won't stop the killers

Another mass shooting and as usual within 24 hours the Democrats are calling for more gun control. There have been Democrat presidents, wannabe presidents, senators and representatives all calling for more gun control to prevent these killings.

 Now, why haven't any of these people whose job is writing and passing laws ever introduced legislation that would keep guns out of the hands of thugs, gangsters, murderers and mass murderers in order to prevent gun-related killings? Because they know that it is impossible to keep guns out of the hands of killers. 

If they are so concerned about saving human lives, why don't they help pass legislation to stop abortions?

John Ruff


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Senator shows a lack of compassion

Sen. Thune certainly followed his own advice when he suggested that victims caught in a shooting situation should "get small."

His comments show how small his sense of decency and compassion are, and how small his commitment to stopping the epidemic of mass murder in this country is. It is documented that he has accepted over $800,000 from the NRA in his political career. He has not only sold his vote, he has sold his soul as well.

John Griffith


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