To the editor: The Sunday, Sept. 15, Daily News-Miner editorial says “we” need this road to those resources and we need it now.
Several points were made in favor of the road, but there were several glaring omissions on the negative side.
First, no mention was made of the huge profits the mining companies — most, if not all, from outside of the USA in general and Alaska in particular — compared with the pittance they will have to pay the state in royalties. The antiquated laws by which mineral royalties are calculated allow these Outside companies to extract our resources at better-than-bargain prices. Second, almost all mines require monitoring “in perpetuity,” forever, in the common parlance. Who will hold them to that part of the deal?
And, worst of all, no mention was made of the voices of the villages that would be most harmed by the building and use of this road.
A viable alternative to this road is just over the horizon: that of heavy lift airships that can deliver tons of supplies and return with valuable ores, obviating the needs for roads. These airships would also be a boon to the many villages currently relying on expensive barge or air delivery of staples, fuel and other supplies. Essentially, anything that moves on a semi-trailer can move via air, without the upfront and ongoing costs of a road.
Rushing to build this road is a bad idea.