By Jennifer Ekstrom, Brad Smith, Derf Johnson and David Brooks, Calgary Herald
We are American conservationists, and we are campaigning to address an issue with a Canadian natural resource. There, we said it.
When Stephen Harper was prime minister, environmentalists who opposed his energy plans — especially American ones like us — were branded by some as radicals and extremists. But unlike other ongoing environmental battles, we want to work with the owner of the mines in question, Teck Resources Ltd., to find solutions to a mounting catastrophe and clean up pollution impacting our water quality in Montana and Idaho.
However, when it comes to mining at least, it is proving more difficult to engage Prime Minister Justin Trudeau than it was for those opposing a different major problem to
Back in the day, there was an important B.C. case in which Prime Minister Harper listened to concerns brought forward by First Nations and environmental experts, and prioritized that information over intense lobbying by the B.C. government and Taseko Mines Ltd. The Harper government ended up killing the project by rejecting it not once, but twice.
Today, we can’t even get Trudeau and his government to pay attention to our pollution concerns — and we are simply seeking to establish a process that would engage Teck Resources Ltd to address the selenium pollution that its operations in B.C.’s Elk Valley are spreading across a massive and environmentally critical transboundary watershed shared with Idaho and Montana.