I am appalled that you would print an editorial about Andalex based on six errors of fact.
1. Andalex's 25,000-acre lease area encroaches on two BLM wilderness study areas (Wahweap and Burning Hills). Thus, you were in error when you stated "it was not part of the 3.2 million acres the Bureau of Land Management originally recommended."2. Andalex will directly employ 300 (not the 900 you suggested), a work force mostly transferred from northeastern Utah or other parts of the country and most of whom will live in Page or Fredonia, Ariz. Thus, these are not new "jobs" and will not alleviate southern Utah's employment problems.
3. The Utah Division of Wildlife has said this mine would damage the ecosystem of the interior of the Kaiparowits Plateau and would impact an important deer herd. The access road and powerline corridor could affect over 25,000 acres, not the 40 you said. I am amazed you would attribute your claim of "minimal effects" to the company spokesman.
4. Utah taxpayers (especially northern Utah taxpayers) are being asked to provide $100 million or much more to repair and redesign roads for Andalex, according to the Governor's Office of Planning and Budget. Revenues will certainly not "be capable of repaying the investment." Should we pay a private, foreign company to sell our natural resources overseas?
5. Every day for 40 years, there will be between 175 and 248 trucks, not the 155 you say. That means one truck every three or four minutes.
6. Expert studies show that Andalex traffic will cause more than 100 accidents per year, many of them involving serious injury or fatalities. How do you plan to enforce "strict driving regulations" upon Zion National Park's three million annual tourist autos? Andalex's own spokesman has offered no plan for protecting southern Utah residents from this bloodbath.
Valerie P. Cohen
for Taxpayers for Safe Utah Roads