Mosaic and Whitmore ... you can't believe either.
At the recent Manatee County commission hearing for Mosaic's application to turn G&D strawberry farm into a strip mine, instead of asking questions, Commissioner Carol Whitmore repeated twice that commissioners had unanimously approved mining in the past, which is not true.
Four commissioners voted "no" to a phosphate mining application in 2008 (two new commissioners changed the vote in 2009) and three commissioners voted against a mining application in 2012.
Whitmore ignored the tumultuous history of mining and hesitation to approve permits, as illustrated most prominently in the example of at least 16 hearings held on the Altman tract.
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Whitmore cited letters from a few people supporting Mosaic (based on donations Mosaic made, of course), but disregarded opposition letters and ignored the far greater number of people in the audience with expert science and environmental backgrounds who testified against strip mining.
Commissioner Robin DiSabatino was upset about the loss of more agricultural land, a strength and heritage in Manatee County. However, Commissioner Whitmore repeated that mining had been going on since the 1970s, dismissing the opposition and concern about legacy.
The extensive damage caused by strip mining thousands of acres is clearly visible from aerials and Google maps. We don't need Commissioner Whitmore's rush to judgment without consideration of the adverse impacts, which are different for every mine site.
Far worse are the millions Mosaic spends on misleading advertising, contributions to gain acceptance, and consultants to counter criticism and their negative image (youtube.com/watch?v=spzER-HYeKw).
We should limit the spread of more devastation and protect our wetlands, water resources, and agricultural lands, which have far more long-term value. The county does not even have to approve re-zoning agricultural land to extraction. Mosaic should get phosphate from their own mines in Peru and Saudi Arabia or from Morocco.
Barbara A. Angelucci