The Washington Post

The price of gold

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Regarding the July 18 front-page article on renewed interest in California gold, “California’s new gold rush”:

Gold is used in jewelry, finance and high-tech electronic­s, including smartphone­s, computers, aerospace and cancer treatments. These latter uses are relatively small compared with the quantities used in the primary consumptiv­e industries, but they are still significan­t.

Gold mining and extractive industries in general are environmen­tal concerns. They are also broad societal concerns. As a nation, or even as California neighbors, what is the moral preference to mining minerals in the United States? Other countries have more lax environmen­tal and labor codes. Some countries have restricted sales of vital minerals to the United States. Do we outsource our problems or concerns? NIMBY — not in my backyard — is an easy out. What should be our national answer?

Susan Marcus, Fairfax

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