By Jack Parker*
1. In the permitting process since February 2006 Kennecott has simply denied all wrongdoing, including fraud and endangerment of life, limb, property and environment, but without bothering to show that our evidence was incorrect.
2. In that stance they were backed by Rio Tinto and enabled by MDEQ, consistently.
3. With the help of MDEQ they were granted permits, not following Part 632 of Michigan Mining Law; and they have forged ahead with mine construction, illegally, with supreme confidence and arrogance.
4. It would seem that they had been guaranteed that all permits would be issued, without a shadow of a doubt.
5. The Courts have consistently backed Kennecott, as if they too were in on a conspiracy. Even the Michigan Attorney General, Bill Schuette, declined to investigate and prosecute, which is his job.
6. The general public is not well informed because the media are controlled by the business interests.
7. The Feds do not intervene because permitting is under State Law. MSHA is now on the scene because part of the operation is now underground. That may give us some fresh professional leverage on the fraudulent mine design issue -- the design is such that collapse is predicted.**
8. So it seems that Kennecott is pushing toward a fait accompli -- a "done deal" -- for which a reversal of all permits would be politically and publicly difficult.
9. What comes to mind now is that Kennecott, with help from MDEQ, may be blustering mildly and continuing with construction for just a few more months -- at which time the Michigan Statutes of Limitation (6 years for fraud) will have run out, leaving them free to do as they please.
10. Under a different heading, "Judgment," the limit is 10 years, renewable for a further 10 years.
11. Do you suppose that their plan is to run down the clock?
12. Will we prevent that happening? Tempus fugit …
* Keweenaw Now guest writer Jack Parker of Baltic, semi-retired mining engineer / geologist, specializes in practical rock mechanics.
** Jack Parker has published two reports on the instability of Rio Tinto-Kennecott's Eagle Mine. See our Dec. 6, 2010, article, "Mining expert Jack Parker says Eagle Mine likely to collapse."