Thursday, December 23, 2010

Local voices

Posted on Thu, Dec 23, 2010 at 4:00 AM

I hope people are not misled by those who insist that opposition to the big rigs has been fomented solely by “outsiders” (see “Big rigs mean boon” in Letters, Nov. 18, 2010). There are many local citizens and several local organizations expressing dismay at the prospect of mega-haulers traveling along the wild and scenic river corridors and through our communities. The Clark Fork Coalition, Montana Environmental Information Center, Trout Unlimited, Blackfoot Challenge and the Missoula City Council are some I know of.

However, there are definitely some “outsiders” involved. The Japanese and South Korean manufacturers, the Kearl Tar Sands in Canada destination, and Imperial Oil (a subsidiary of ExxonMobil) and Korean National Oil Corporation’s Harvest Operation, which will reap the profits. None of these outsiders will miss stopping along the rivers for a picnic or swim or a fish. These outsiders will not be inconvenienced or perhaps endangered when traffic comes to a standstill. None of them will suffer if tourists decide to go elsewhere.

In the past few years ExxonMobil has made more money than ever in the history of profit. Why must we who live here allow these corporations to endanger our region’s beauty, peace and serenity so they can save themselves some money? It is my hope that local folks will continue to speak out against outside corporations riding roughshod over our irreplaceable scenic beauty.

Taylor Pape


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