Gold has a constructed value. There is nothing that makes it inherently special. Yet, for some reason, it is a question as to whether it should be valued over the lives of people in Virginia.
As a young person who lives within close range of the Gold-Pyrite Belt in Virginia I worry about the health and ecological implications gold mining could have not just in 3 years, but in 50 years. I currently live in Charlottesville and hope to continue to live in the Blue Ridge for many more years. Yet, if industrial gold mining were to be allowed, I am not sure I would want to stay anymore.
Gold mining is incredibly harmful to the people around the mine. I have heard that it is not a matter of whether tailing dams fail, but when. I do not want to be around when the toxic chemicals do escape the dam. The impacts tailing dams will have is much too great to allow industrial gold mining.
I am strongly opposed to gold mining in Virginia. I think it is ridiculous that it is even being considered. I want to live somewhere that has clean air and water, and I want to live in Virginia. Yet, if gold mining is allowed I know that I cannot have both of these. I know which one I would choose. Once there is no longer a guarantee to clean air and water, almost nothing could keep me.
Gold is the not future of Virginia. So, please, from a young person of Virginia, do not treat it like it is. Do not allow gold mining in Virginia.