On April 29, I went to Augusta to testify about metallic mining because I feel that this country, but particularly this state, is at a crossroads.

The best way I’ve heard to describe the two paths that lie ahead of us are “fracking and fighting” for scarce resources and a wasteful and unhealthy way of life, or “farming to freedom” and developing a resilient culture in harmony with the environment.

In pursuit of the American dream, we need look no further than the soil beneath our feet. Working with this wet and rich land, the investments of time and energy come back with interest. This is a New Deal that the public can count on — not one subject to the volatility of the stock market or dependent on foreign oil.

Since I was about 13, I have been told that it is up to my generation to fix this world — and we will, given the chance. With my engineering degree, I know exactly what has to be done to build a future on a foundation of renewable energy that provides a higher standard of living than we enjoy now without sacrificing technology or comforts.

I am not being naive; I know the realities of poverty in this state, but we need proud steady work, not just jobs. We need to take back our industry and make it independent, local, and responsive to the community and ecology that it resides within.

Everything that industrial mining is not.

Alex Briggs, Pownal

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