It's About the Economy and the Environment
Call it what you will, but CPASA understands that while a clean, reliable water supply is an “environmental” issue, even more so, it is a vital economic driver. Just look at Oklahoma City, for example, which has developed an entire downtown venue around water. And no one can deny the success that this has become.
The particular issue referenced in the April 28th Journal Record article "Environmental group protests process for mining permit" has a direct impact on the water supply for the City of Tishomingo, which relies on Pennington Creek as its sole source of water. Tishomingo has seen unprecedented growth, thanks to investments made in the area by the Chickasaw Nation, Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert and many others. If the flow in Pennington Creek is reduced by almost 50%, as the current scientific models suggest it will be, then all the investments in the City of Tishomingo will be worthless. Such a substantial decrease in Pennington Creek would destroy thousands if not tens of thousands of jobs in the area and will devastate the economy. And even worse, residents of Tishomingo may very well turn on their tap only to find that no water comes out!
This “environmental” issue also has a direct impact on the private property rights of the agricultural producers South Central Oklahoma. Farms and ranches in the area have already felt the negative impacts of mining. Springs that once filled the creeks and provided water for cattle no longer run, and wells that have been in place since before statehood are also going dry.
The issue of mining in the Arbuckle Simpson has been a concern for a decade and the people in the area are simply looking for a fair process in which their voices will be heard. It’s clear that the Department of Mines process does not afford that to them. If Arbuckle Aggregates truly wanted to be a good corporate neighbor, they would work proactively with the people that live in the area to address these issues, rather than acting like an absent landlord who is only concerned about profit.