77 Series: Ottawa County
Clean Ottawa by Rebuilding
Do you know where some of the larger zinc and lead deposits are
in the world? They are in Ottawa County. If we were to begin excavating this
area once again, harvesting the valuable metals, we would bring an entire
industry to this area. I feel for the people in Miami, Commerce, Afton,
Fairland and Peoria. It is not right to take away an industry and leave a mess
behind. The population did not flee with your industry, they are still right
there. I can see how the town boomed from 1910 through the 1930’s and I see how
it never dwindled away over the years like most Oklahoma counties. The people
need their mine back and I believe a lot of the families in the county stayed
because they knew that one day, someone would come along and restore the
community. We do not need to be global leaders in production, but we can participate adequately in the market for these metals.
Thus, the scope of Project D2 is beginning to take shape. Since we have the 3,000,000 barrel a day refinery taking shape in Project D3, we could use another multi-billion dollar a year industry in Project D2. I now many of the residents are unhappy with how they were left without an industry and a major disaster area that is economically unfeasible to clean up. That is where a strong minded economist like me comes in to play. Utilizing our railroads, I am sure we can find a use for all of that debris somewhere. There is always the need for any kind of dust used as a filler in the right area and if it is not radioactive, then it is not going to cause any kind of serious life threatening illness should we relocate the mass to a more suitable area, away from our water sources and where our children are active. We can find some location off our railways that is depressed and not near any aquifer, nor standing body of water. We can fill that depression with the mountains of residual mining dust, add top soil, and see what biological growth we can bring to the newly designed plateau. It will be beautiful and will instill new confidence in our nation.
How will we fund such an operation? By bringing mining back to the area, plus a refinery for the metals. As our miners are working diligently to produce the ore for refinement, we will have crews working around the clock loading the debris onto rail-carts and delivering the debris to a location yet to be determined. This will require a team of scientists and engineers to make this project feasible, but it is feasible, and that is all that is required in this world to make something happen.
The first phase of cleaning up the Superfund Site is finding a new place for the chat piles to rest so that the mining can reconvene. When Oklahoma first began producing oil and gas, our wells were shallow. They were not like the 17,000 feet horizontal wells we drill today utilizing hydraulic fracking techniques to extract the hydrocarbons. Rather, they were 7,000 feet deep vertically, or less. Using a cheap seismic examining truck, we can determine a cavity that was once filled with oil and gas but is now depleted, leaving a massive underground reservoir. This deep reservoir is an entrapment in which the hydrocarbons were captured for millions of years until we Oklahoman’s brought them to the surface.
What we can do with this empty reservoir is fill it up with the chat piles. All we will need is to find similar volume needed removed, or a combination of reservoirs with the needed volume. Engineers can then devise a way to detonate a small, but deep hole in which we can pour rail cart after rail cart of chat into the empty reservoir. This will be an expensive and massive project, but we cannot afford any more children to be affected from the debris. I wept when I read about this and saw how long we have been dealing with our children suffering. I imagined men with shovels doing their best to keep the debris away from their offspring and I want to bring dozens of U.S. excavators and a thousand workers, rail carts and a plan to take care of this situation once and for all. We can create hundreds, a thousand, good paying jobs by cleaning up the mess and reopening the mine. We must boost our exports and take care of our people, and this is an economic opportunity lying in wait.
The operating mine will take care of the finances necessary and we can issue bonds to cover what expenses remain for the endeavor. Oklahoma has an AA+ credit rating and we can easily sell bonds for a mining project of this magnitude and raise the capital needed. Phase one is to remove chat and prepare the location to resume operations, phase two is to build a refinery near the location, and phase three is to safely and effectively produce and dispose of the mining byproducts. We can use the existing BNSF Railway and all we will need is to assemble a team. Something must be done and we will hone in on the exact solution starting now. This is a major component, if not the largest component, of Project D2. We will need a legislator to ensure nothing stands in our way to recovery and I want to be that man for Ottawa County.
My name is Bevon Rogers and I am running for U.S. Senate in 2020 as a Democrat. In order to support me in the Primary Election on June 30th, you will have to be a registered Democrat or Independent because Oklahoma has closed primaries. I have been closely examining each county in Oklahoma to discover where the weak links are in our state’s economy and I have compiled each economic essay in a project called the 77 Series. You can find the series on my campaign website, www.bevonforsenate.com. As I begin writing essays on the counties in Oklahoma’s second congressional district, I will piece together Project D2, an economic endeavor to bring about higher standards of living throughout congressional district two.
*Update 10/25/2019: I cannot find figures for how much zinc remains in Ottawa County. I do know that BNSF has two railways and that doubles the ability to dispose of the chat. Furthermore, BNSF is a Class I railroad and we can save money by not having to pay switch fees should we be able to negotiate fair tariff rates and not accumulate exorbitant costs for the hazardous material. I also have yet to test the chat and thus the potential for making use of the piles still exists. Also, Oklahoma's credit rating went up from stable, to positive. This makes the proposal for issuing bonds to finance the project even more feasible.