Mining may well become a hot issue in the presidential election. With the choice of Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate, McCain has introduced into the action an avidly pro-mining candidate from a pro-mining state.
Just last night, having heard Obama, I had concluded things could get no more exciting. Grant him a magnificent speech. Grant that it is absolutely clear the difference between him an McCain is: (a) abortion & jail; (b) gay rights & marriage; (c) more Scalias and Thomases on the Supreme Court; and (d) months versus centuries in Iraq. And of course the right to dream.
But this morning all those stark differences between the candidates no longer seem top reasons for voting one way or the other. Now as mining-afficianodos, we must also think about a female vice-president with five kids, who carries a gun, believes in global warming, and supports mining.
I can hardly wait to see Alaska’s Palin and Anglo’s Carroll signing the Pebble accord. Or see the line up at the Johannesburg and Vancouver airports for flights to remote mining towns in Alaska. Can you see Palin lecturing the governor of Montana, Brian Schweitzer on mining rights? Or the beautiful people sailing around new oil rigs off Huntington Beach? What about Palin teaching Jared Polis about cyanide?
Stand by. This is about to become the most exciting election ever. And mining issues may well be central. And that is as it should be. For mining starts it all and ends it all. And if we cannot get our mining policies, developments, production, economy, closure, and long-term site benefits right, what can we get right.