Earl Bennett is the Emeritus Dean of the University of Idaho's College of Mines and has made the Silver Valley one of his specialties. He discusses the future of silver mining and how it has changed. And he talks about the importance of mining to our way of life.
"Superfund was yesterday’s story. Folks down south, get over it!"
"We know the problems you can have, if you don’t run clean operations. And I can guarantee everybody in south Idaho and everywhere else, the industry we’ve got in the Coeur d’ Alene right now is not your father’s mining industry.
We were cleaning up the sins of the fathers, so to speak. The companies that are here now do not have those kind of practices. They can’t do them by the environmental laws that we’ve got, and they don’t want to do them. Their intent is to be good neighbors."
“If we didn’t have metal mining, we’d be in a very embarrassing situation on this show. We would all be standing around in the nude talking to one another, because we wouldn’t be able to manufacture any of the things that we have without metals.
“The problem people have is making the relationship between the importance of the metals and the products. Because when you look at a car, you don’t see the steel in it, you don’t see the copper, you don’t see the zinc, you don’t see the lead in the battery, you don’t see any of the metallic commodities that make the car, you see a car. And that’s the disconnect that people have with it.”
Watch a 5 minute interview with Earl Bennett, Emeritus Dean of U of Idaho's College of Mines, on the future of the Silver Valley and the importance of mining.