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Utah Celebrates Mining on Earth Day

April 22 is Earth Day and the state of Utah is celebrating…fossil fuels and the wonders of mining. The Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining is having a poster contest with the theme “Where would WE be without oil, gas and mining?” The goal is to “highlight how modern mining and petroleum extraction techniques and reclamation methods minimize environmental impacts while providing society with the raw materials required to have our high standard of living.”

As ThinkProgress notes, they had an almost identical theme last year for Earth Day and the whole thing was sponsored by Arch Coal, Anadarko Petroleum, and Rio Tinto/Kennecott Utah Copper. Rio Tinto is one of the world’s largest and richest mining companies and they’ve been responsible for extraordinary amounts of pollution all over the country.

One of their mines in Wisconsin, the Flambeau mine, they declared to be all “reclaimed” after operations were ended there but the Wisconsin DNR said last year that a stream flowing from the area of the mine is still highly contaminated with heavy metals. environmental groups have also documented both air and water pollution at highly toxic level around their mines in other states, including Utah.

Next year for Black History Month, maybe they’ll have a poster contest sponsored by the KKK.


  1. iknklast says

    Makes perfect sense to me. In my midwestern corn-growing state, they expect me to issue paeans to big-ag for Earth Day (which I don’t). Now I just got an e-mail that the administration understood there won’t be any Earth Day events this year (which is, unfortunately, probably true because of the increased hostility engendered by our new sustainability coordinator making it impossible for me to move). This has not been announced, nor is it even official. The Earth Day committee has not made any decision; I get the sense we’ve just been told, not asked.

  2. Reginald Selkirk says

    … and they’ve been responsible for extraordinary amounts of pollution all over the globe.


  3. lldayo says

    Any readers here in Utah who have kids in K-6? Have them enter a poster showing an advanced society living in a Utopia with pollution, war, hunger and disease being completely eliminated. That would just be excellent if they won ;)

  4. Draken says

    “Where would WE be without oil, gas and mining?”

    On Proxima Centauri, with a warp drive.

  5. Matrim says

    I never really got the argument about “coal is what built this country!” and so we should never move beyond it. The world would be radically different if the Roman Empire had never existed, that doesn’t mean we should go back to it. I’ll be the first to admit that oil and coal were immensely important and without them we’d still be somewhere in the Iron Age. They allowed us to do amazing things. However, the fact of the matter is that our technology has sufficiently advanced that the benefits of coal in particular and fossil fuels in general are outweighed by the detriments. We are beyond that.

  6. baal says

    How will politicians be able to fund their campaigns and have slush funds (kick ass compensation once they leave office) if they don’t do big obvious gestures to show their allegiance to the ‘right’ tribes? Won’t someone please think of the government officers?

  7. Phillip IV says

    minimize environmental impacts while providing society with the raw materials required to have our high standard of living

    I guess they felt that the classic phrasing…”Nice standard of living you’ve got there. Would be too bad if something was to happen to it.”…wasn’t subtle enough. But the sentiment behind it is pretty much the same.

  8. some bastard on the net says

    On behalf of my state (willing or not), I apologize for this stupidity.

    Unfortunately, I have no kids that I could help troll the whole damn thing.

  9. dingojack says

    ‘Where would we be without oil, gas and mining?’

    Well, we wouldn’t have this level of smog for a start…

  10. labman57 says

    It’s also National Nutrition Month … so expect Utah school children to be celebrating the great American Twinkie.

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