Dear Editor,

I am a member of the Madison County Clean Power Coalition (MCCPC), a volunteer community action group, that placed an ad in the March 24th Charlton County Herald titled An Open Letter to Charlton County. I am responding to the Twin Pines Minerals ad that ran in last week’s paper, outrageously accusing MCCPC of lying. We do not lie; we have documents supporting all of our statements. MCCPC wrote the letter to warn Charlton County about what happened to us, so that you might not be fooled as we were and won’t suffer the same damage to your health, property, and quality of life that we have endured.

So, let me set the record straight: First, Twin Pines and GRP are managed and financed by the same people. Records filed with the Georgia Secretary of State show that Raymon Bean is the Manager (CEO) of Twin Pines AND the Manager (CEO) of GRP, and that the companies are housed in adjacent offices in the same building in Birmingham, Alabama. Documents in the 7 federal lawsuits filed against Bean and/or GRP, for claims ranging from fraud to breach of contract and pollution, state that Ray Bean is owner of GRP’s parent. Twin Pines confirmed the common financial connection between the entities in its ad, where it says “The two companies are financed by the same investment company that funds many projects.”

Second, GRP’s record of water and air pollution and sickening people from burning carcinogenic wood is demonstrated in numerous consent orders issued by EPD that resulted in fines of over $80,000. The details can be found at www.Madisoncleanpowercoalition.com

Third, Twin Pines is not unique but has mimicked GRP’s playbook. It lied about having a lease on TIAA’s neighboring property just like GRP lied about not burning carcinogenic wood next to our homes. Letters from TIAA and articles in the local papers confirm this. It also violated several environmental laws in Florida, as documented by consent orders with the State of Florida, just like GRP has repeatedly violated environmental laws in in Madison and Franklin Counties.

Fourth, the titanium it seeks is not needed for national security; it will be used to whiten the filling in Oreo cookies, paint and paper. There is plenty of it being mined elsewhere in southeast Georgia, so there is no need to risk the Okefenokee to pull out more.

Fifth, the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s leading hydrologist has issued a report severely criticizing the Twin Pines study and stated there is a significant risk of the mine draining the Swamp. That’s not us saying that, it’s one of the top scientists in the country. Who’s more trustworthy, a consultant paid by Twin Pines, or an independent hydrologist with nothing financial to gain?

Twin Pines asks what we offer to make the region more productive while protecting the environment. That’s easy: urging the County and State to reject its dangerous plan that would risk a world-class natural treasure and protect the over 700 jobs and over $65M in annual revenue created by visitors to the Swamp.

On a more personal note: I live just 1.5 miles from the GRP Plant that has destroyed the quality of life and lowered the property values of me and my neighbors living nearby. GRP did this after making, and breaking, all kinds of promises to us about jobs, taxes, and being good neighbors. Do those promises sound familiar? Don’t let Twin Pines Minerals fool you with their promises as GRP fooled us. The health and welfare of your community and the integrity of the great Okefenokee are at stake. Just say NO to Twin Pines.

Ruth Ann Tesanovich

Colbert, GA