Amy Choate-Nielsen: In shadow of one of world's largest mines, Magna fights for its future
One of Udell's main concerns is Kennecott's natural gas and coal-powered energy plant that powers the rest of the mine and the air pollution it creates. Breathing the plant's exhaust, which spreads across the valley and contributes to poor air quality across the valley, is deadly, she says, but Kennecott could do better if they had to. If the government forced the company to reduce their emissions to get their operating permits, Kennecott would comply, she says.
Udell's philosophy is one of action, but it's also a theory that has been proven by the history of Superfund: today's decisions help determine the future, for better or for worse.
"If a company is making a product, and in the process, creating this pollution, they can get permits to do that and overall, it's legal — but it's not ethical and it's not moral and it's not being a good neighbor," Udell says. "As citizens, the bar we demand is the bar we get. Not only for companies, but for our government, if we are apathetic and we don't demand much … we won't get much."
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