On Sunday, Virginia Uranium Inc. (VUI) unleashed what may be the beginning of a protracted public campaign to win the hearts and the minds of undecided Virginians or even those opposed to uranium mining in the commonwealth. In an editorial piece, VUI’s project manager, Patrick Wales, defended the idea and practical application of mining uranium and called on “mining foes” to be “accountable.” Can you sense my incredulity?
So, the public relations dye has been cast for Round One of the VUI public relations blitz and it is interesting to note the tone of Mr. Wale’s editorial and the facts that he (naturally) leaves out of his critique of individuals who oppose the risks involved with digging up uranium ore from Virginia’s soil.
For instance, here’s a real knee-slapper from Wales: “it has been uranium mining opponents’ claims that have been discounted time and again by independent sources, from the left-leaning Washington Post and Brookings Institution to the more conservative Richmond Times-Dispatch and Heritage Foundation.” If the Washington Post and Brookings Institution are left-leaning then Dennis Rodman’s hair color remained consistent throughout his professional basketball career. That is, Mr. Wales is stretching reality and setting the ideological goal-posts where he’ll receive the greatest rhetorical cookie points.
Noticeably lacking from this and other claims made by Mr. Wales is what we have come to call evidence in 21st Century America. Unless Mr. Wales believes that Virginians are going to inherently trust him and his company of Canadian-backed financial wolves, then it would behoove him to include evidence to support his claims, unless of course the evidence actually contradicts his assertions!
Mr. Wales go on to point out that the movement opposing uranium mining in Virginia called “Keep the Ban” knows “full well Virginia never banned uranium mining.” Right, and you, sir, know full well that the only thing Virginian about “Virginia Uranium Inc.” is the name and the location where the mining will take place. I ask you to consider how Virginian is a company owned entirely by a Canadian company? So, is one side alone guilty for playing semantic tricks on Virginians? No.
VUI and its allies have talked down to the people of Virginia from the beginning and thought that their efforts to lift the “moratorium” (there you go Mr. Wales) would be as easy as a few legislators in their pockets. Well, it will take a whole lot more legislators in your pockets!
Even though America is the most advanced capitalist country in the world, we still value something that money simply cannot buy: our health and our homes, those places from which we were born and/or have known for most of our lives. VUI can tout their honestly and their compassion until they are blue in the face. Ultimately, however, we know that the primary interest VUI and its shareholders have in mind is the almighty dollar, not the interests of Virginians as a whole.