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Build the smelter in Pend Oreille County

It would be very good for working families in northeastern Washington if the proposed silicon smelter is constructed. Opportunities for investment that provide a substantial number of living-wage jobs don’t come along very often in rural areas. Modern permitting and regulatory requirements necessitate minimal environmental degradation and risk. Companies make great efforts to stay in compliance. There is bound to be opposition to this kind of development, but I hope the value of this investment will not be disregarded.

It’s a sad feeling to know how many people in rural areas are only barely able to get by on the edge of poverty, or worse. These days “mining” and “logging” are like profane language to a lot of people, especially folks who do not depend on resources to earn a living. However, resource jobs are often just the kind of family-supporting jobs that are needed so badly. The foundation of our affluence depends on consuming plenty of resources. There will be a noisy group who will fight this smelter vigorously, but I hope the majority can keep the project going. The investment and job creation is an opportunity that shouldn’t be passed up.

Robert B. Robinson

Kingston, Idaho